September 22, 2023


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Review: “Equus” at Staatstheater Cottbus

Review: “Equus” at Staatstheater Cottbus

treatment scene in

The treatment scene in “Equus” with Charlotte Mueller as Dysart and Torben Appel as Alan. Photo: Bernd Schönbergen:

Cottbus. in a schedule Cottbus Drama A psychological thriller of outrageously oppressive intensity, it keeps the audience in suspense for more than three hours in brilliant fashion with just eight characters. The material leads to the limits of what is tolerable and reminds us of the times when people here too left the Pleetristian aesthetic tracks and looked for answers in the texts of Helga Konigsdorff and the psychoanalysts of the late 1980s. British playwright Peter Schafer (1926-2016) also explored harsh borderline situations while searching for social faults and gave them characters of almost metaphysical scale. House director and acting co-director Philip Rosendaal has now taken to asking the end-of-time questions again. What is still tolerable in the gaps between people, what is still acceptable in terms of individuality. Should it be broken in order not to “kick into concrete ground on your bike without passion…”?
There seems to be much, much, much more to contend with in just one evening on stage called Equus. The ambiguous term means blind, maimed horses. The cruel and sadistic act forms the background not for criminal investigations but for deep psychological investigations that reveal the young offender and his environment.
Young Alan, defiant and disoriented, ecstatic and hopeless, or at any rate absolutely horrific, is what Torben Appel is all about. Unforgettable, deformed and sexually battered character who ends up feeling sympathetic. The director and actors have done great art here and very close also to this Dr. Glacier. Dysart is included, played by Charlotte Mueller. Marcus Boll, Ariadne Pabst, Lisa Schwarzenberger, Sophie Bock, and Johannes Schedweller fill in the other characters. Musically, Aleksandr Yasinsky leads the movement and drives it forward on stage with the accordion. The stage is sparingly outfitted by Daniel Roskamp with chains and the movement (choreography by Alessia Ruffolo) is of great interest. After a long, almost painful silence in the house, violent applause broke out. A production that’s hard to get out of your head. It will be shown again from October 18th. J Heinrich

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