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Leonce, the crown prince, is bored with life. The prospect of a life as a king seems just as meaningless to him as a marriage to Princess Lena, to whom he is to be married. He flees to Italy with the idler Valerio. Likewise, Lena resists this arranged engagement, but also finds no happiness in her affair with Rosetta.

Arno Declair
Arno Declair © Arno Declair

She ends it and flees into the distance. Leonce finds short-term solace in intoxication and profound conversations about the inadequacy of human existence, while Lena seeks her freedom in nature. But there always remain these elementary questions about the goal and purpose of one's life.

And as luck would have it, they meet anonymously and fall head over heels in love. Back in the kingdom, the couple masquerade as robots and marry instead of the missing royal children – only to discover that the fate they had hoped to escape has come to pass and they haven’t progressed any further from where they started. Is there a right life in the wrong one?

Georg Büchner’s comedy of 1836 is generally interpreted as an intellectually brooding or dreamily melancholic text. In conjunction with Büchner’s social pamphlet The Hessian Courier, and in first time collaboration with choreographer Jefta van Dinther, director Ulrich Rasche liberates Leonce and Lena from its indolent mood and brings out its political analysis: as a fundamental social analysis and radical critique of the self-reference and ignorance of the ruling class.

While she holds all the levers in her hand to change the social conditions in favor of the exploited, she excuses her inaction with the hopelessness of personal action, the impossibility to influence the world and the fundamental lostness in the universe.

(Program in German)

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by Georg BüchnerDirector: Ulrich Rasche
Participating artists
Ulrich Rasche (Regie und Bühne)
Nico van Wersch (Komposition und Musikalische Leitung)
Jefta van Dinther (Choreografie)
Toni Jessen (Chorleitung)
Romy Springsguth (Kostüme)
Cornelia Gloth (Licht)
Jonathan Heck (Mitarbeit Musik)
Marcel Braun (Ton)
Martin Person (Ton)
David Heiligers (Dramaturgie)
Zazie Cayla
Toni Jessen
Marcel Kohler
Philipp Lehfeldt
Linda Pöppel
Yannik Stöbener
Ingraban von Stolzmann
Alida Stricker
Enno Trebs
Julia Windischbauer
Almut Zilcher
Carsten Brocker (Live-Musik)
Katelyn Rose King (Live-Musik)
Špela Mastnak (Live-Musik)
Thomsen Merkel (Live-Musik)
Deutsches Theater Berlin
Deutsches Theater Berlin