Der gute Mensch von Sezuan
There is turmoil in heaven. Internal discussions about possible mistakes made during the creation of the world have finally prompted the gods to subject their work to scrutiny. Three delegates are charged with a review of the earth’s condition. In Szechwan, they meet Shen Te, a young prostitute who is the only one willing to take in the exalted guests. The gods reward her kindness and give her a small capital. Her interest payments are to be made in good deeds. This micro-credit enables Shen Te to set up a small tobacco shop. Her modest prosperity, however, awakens the greed of other. When her neighbours’ pleas turn into demands and her kindness is abused more ruthlessly every day, she creates a capitalist alter ego for herself: a cousin named Shui Ta, in whose guise she is able to assert her own interests. Unencumbered by any moral aspirations, Shen Te as Shui Ta expands her little shop until it has become an exploitative tobacco empire. But the more ruthlessly her invented cousin operates, the more the people of Szechwan miss Shen Te. They suspect that a murder has been committed and take Shui Ta to court.
Moritz Sostmann first worked at Schauspiel Leipzig in 2017/18: “Sechs Personen suchen einen Autor (Six Characters in Search of an Author)”, the famous work by the Italian Nobel laureate in literature Luigi Pirandello, he explored the question of authenticity on stage and in life. In his production of William Shakespeare’s “Der Widerspenstigen Zähmung (The Taming of the Shrew)”, he reversed the power relations between the genders. His productions always combine acting with puppetry, investigating the questions of the competition between human and puppet, between naturalness and artificiality, between reality and projection. He has been Director in Residence at Schauspiel Köln since 2013/14. His highly praised production of Bertolt Brecht’s “Der gute Mensch von Sezuan (The Good Person of Szechwan)” will transition to Leipzig in a new version: The team of the Cologne production will give guidance; the company of Schauspiel Leipzig will take over.