Behind every great woman, there’s a great man. And in a world where women hold all the cards, Florian just wants to be taken seriously. Whether he’s trying to get a job at the pharmacy, hustling as a real-estate agent, or struggling against the sexual advances of a histrionic theatre director, the objectified protagonist, played brilliantly by Moritz Gottwald, faces a daily onslaught of humiliation and belittlement through multiple storylines. He is ogled, groped, laughed at, and yet still has to go home and cook for his woman with a smile on his face. Maja Zade, a dramaturg at the Schaubühne for nearly 20 years, has turned our society upside-down in her meta-theatrical analysis of the #MeToo movement – her debut as playwright. While the piece is at times clichéd, it never feels bombastic or didactic. With well placed musical interludes, playful references to the Schaubühne itself, and a frenetic cast of characters played by a small ensemble, the show offers an unsettling look at the world that women face every day. In one particularly poignant scene, Florian is sexually molested by his boss, and while he cries in the bathroom afterwards, his friend reassures him, “Don’t worry, Daniela is actually quite nice — she’s married and just comes from this generation of women. It’s all just a game to them.” The game may slowly be changing, but until gender power relations are truly equal, plays like this remain a necessary exercise in role-reversals.
status quo Mar 10, 11, 12, in German only