Faust I + II

text by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  • Theatre
  • Show
The 2013 archive

Nicolas Stemann / Thalia Theater

Hambourg / First time in France

Light meals and beverages available at the venue.
Faust I + II © Christophe Raynaud de Lage / Festival d'Avignon


The French public has rarely had the occasion to see Goethe's Faust staged in its entirety. More than ambitious, the plan to stage the classic par excellence of German literature seems doomed to failure, as Faust II initially refuses to accommodate itself to the theatre, given that it brings together the most contrasting genres, the most different languages and rhythms. That was all it took for the talented spirit of Nicolas Stemann and his team, trained in the post-dramatic school, to be up to the task of this extremely unconventional writing. Going from operetta to tragedy, from the TV show to a dreamlike and fantastic world, the Mephistophelian energy of the stage marathon that they propose overflows the traditional frameworks of the theatre, reducing it to an intimate monologue or swelling it until it becomes a kind of agit-prop. During the eight hours the show lasts, briskly conducted, Faust I + II questions the current meanings of a pact made with the devil and undertakes a dizzying theatre journey into the psychological, political and economic depths of humanity. Opening on the tragedy of Marguerite, a girl seduced by Faust, demonstrating the ambivalence of amorous desire, the Faustian perspective leads us into the “large world” where entertainment mixes with economic, political and scientific questions. Written at the start of the Industrial Revolution, Goethe's play criticizes with incredible lucidity our world today: its finance-based economy whose apparent rationality is only founded on the greedy belief of the largest number of people and the lack of respect of our societies faced with nature, which irremediably leads to ecological disaster. Genealogy of the contemporary world, Faust I + II is a thrilling Walpurgis Night, into which the spectator is sucked up and entertained, constantly pondering the reasons for his own entertainment. MS

A two-part tragedy, considered impossible to stage because of its density, Faust by Goethe (1749-1832) is as much a classic par excellence as its exact opposite, as its entertaining anarchy defies any attempt at classification. Going from the microcosm of Faust I to the macrocosm of Faust II, Goethe, who constantly reworked this second play, to the point where it was only published posthumously, shows us, during the time of Faust's life, the real consequences of a pact made with the devil. From a drama about love to economic, political and economic disasters, it is the excessiveness of man and our modernity that is denounced here.


direction Nicolas Stemann
dramaturgy Benjamin von Blomberg
scenography Thomas Dreißigacker, Nicolas Stemann
music Thomas Kürstner, Sebastian Vogel
lumière Paulus Vogt
video Claudia Lehmann
live camera Eike Zuleeg
costume Marysol del Castillo
puppertry Felix Loycke et Florian Loycke / Das Helmi
choreography Franz Rogowski
arrangements Burkhard Niggemeier, Sven Kaiser

Faust I Philipp Hochmair, Sebastian Rudolph, Patrycia Ziolkowska
Faust II Philipp Hochmair, Barbara Nüsse, Josef Ostendorf, Franz Rogowski, Sebastian Rudolph, Birte Schnöink, Patrycia Ziolkowska
singers Friederike Harmsen, Esra Pereira Köster
dancer Franz Rogowski
musicians Thomas Kürstner, Burkhard Niggemeier, Sebastian Vogel
puppeteer Felix Loycke (Faust II)
and participation of Sebastian Brühl, Henrik Giese,
Erik Liedtke, Christian Meyer,
Martin Torke, Dominik Velz


production Thalia Theater
coproduction Salzburger Festspiele
with the support of Kulturbehörde Hamburg, Senatskanzlei Hamburg and CMA CGM

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