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The Glass Menagerie
(Tennessee Williams /Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin)

Content: Amanda Wingfield lives with her grown-up children Tom and Laura in very humble conditions. Her husband abandoned the family years ago; the only thing he left behind is his photograph and a gramophone. For years Tom has been supporting his family by working in a warehouse, but every evening he flees the misery of daily routine by going to the cinema. The mother enthuses over her youth and days gone, when she was still recognized and respected by society. Daughter Laura however is fully concentrated in her collection of fragile glass animals. This menagerie of strange figures makes her repeatedly forget reality and her failure in a world far from a vocational and personal future. All three persons live in a fantasy world, until one day Tom, at the request of his mother, invites his colleague Jim for supper. In Jim’s presence shy Laura thrives, and Amanda puts all her energy into a future relationship.
(Source: www.gorki.de)

Production: Milan Peschel
Cast: Christin König, Ninja Stangenberg, Roland Kukulies, Andreas Pietschmann
Live Singing/Music: Maike Rosa
Stage Set /Costume Design by: Moritz Müller
Dramaturgie: Andrea Koschwitz
Premiere: March 13, 2010 (Berlin)

Press

“Tottering Jim, too, (Andreas Pietschmann), as well as Laura (Ninja Stangenberg) - who towards the end becomes surprisingly initiative -  deliver agreeable characters against the normal rub. It’s Laura who instigates a wild smooching with Jim. And when the industrious clown drops her shortly after, she has the last word: “Is there nothing that interests you more than anything else?” in reply to his question. And her answer “As I already said – I got – my glass collection” is a refusal of the demanded single-mindedness for every day life, a celebration void of any interests.” (www.nachtkritik.de)

“In the second part there is no drop in excitement at all. Peschel now turns the play upside down. It is touching the way how Ninja Stangenberg and Andreas Pietschmann, as shy people who are lusting for love, first sound each other out cautiously, then dance dreamfully and enthusiastically, only in the end to be incapable of finding to one another.” (Commentary at www.nachtkritik.de)

“Jim, the bridegroom candidate for Laura (Andreas Pietschmann), who was brought along by Tom, eventually tells, troubled by bouts of stuttering and stammering, of his successfully completed oratory course for future managing officials. In short: Great fun at the Maxim Gorki Theatre, no matter if it should also be below par.” (www.tagesspiegel.de)

“And finally Andreas Pietschmann as Jim O’Connor. He plays Tom’s team-mate, normally brimming over with energy and joy for life, who has been chosen to court Laura, this time in a completely different way: as somebody who trembles anxiously, who stutters nervously and who is as miserable and false as the Wingfields.” (www.kulturradio.de)

“The fact that the glass unicorn, Laura’s favourite in her glass animal collection, could become 13 years old, seems a miracle. But at the request of the playwright, the mythical creature becomes in the awkward hands of Jim O’Connor (Andreas Pietschmann) a simple horse, as Jim breaks off its best part. Little did the clumsy fellow know that he is considered as the last hope for the rescue of the Wingfield family. He is supposed to fall in love with Laura, marry her so that Tom can at long last give up his duty as the breadwinner, and – for the  sake of protecting the Wingfields’ nerves as well as their furniture – lead a life of his own. Jim is the “emissary of reality of which the rest of us have separated ourselves”, as Tom himself explains. But even though – contrary to expectations - Jim develops feelings of sympathy for Laura, which are leading to a kiss on the mouth and quite reasonable desires – reality has always the stronger pull: This is when Jim, just in time, remembers that he is already engaged.” (www.berlinonline.de)

More info: www.gorki.de
 
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