Kasimir und Karoline

by Ödön von Horváth
You used to live inside me, but you moved out today – and now I stand here like a reed in the wind and have nothing to hold on to.
Just to visit the Oktoberfest, eat some cotton candy and have a little fun. That is all Karoline wants. But it isn’t that easy for Kasimir, since he lost his job only yesterday. And so they go their separate ways. While Karoline turns elsewhere – there is no lack of eager male companions – Kasimir tries to come to terms with his life. By the end of this day at the fairground, to the sound of the screeching giant slide and hippodrome, some of the circumstances will have rearranged themselves.
“Love never ends”: This is the biblical quotation that Horváth chose to precede his play. A motto that proves too large for his characters. In “Kasimir und Karoline”, Horváth created a touching psychological study of the desire for social advancement and the fear of decline, about the unquenchable yearning for intimacy and the career-path of coldness.
The “silence” which Horváth repeatedly notated into his characters’ dialogues works like a lens, just like the Oktoberfest-songs that pervade “Kasimir und Karoline” serve as a contrasting element of affected merriment – a last resort against the silence and the cold.
85 years after its world premiere at the Leipzig Schauspielhaus, “Kasimir und Karoline” is part of this season’s programme at Schauspiel Leipzig. This is the fifth play by the Austrian dramatists which Enrico Lübbe, the theatre’s artistic director, has directed (his most recent Horváth production was “Geschichten aus dem Wienerwald” at Berliner Ensemble in 2012). Horváth is considered one of the outstanding authors of the 20th century, especially revered for the poetically and distinctively condensed language of his characters.
The musician Philipp Marguerre will accompany the performances on his verrophone. As a member of the glass music ensemble sinfonia di vetro, he is one of the most prominent players of the great soli for glass harmonica and verrophone from opera works by composers like Donizetti, Strauss or, more recently, George Benjamin. He has performed at many leading opera houses, including Bayerische Staatsoper, La Scala in Milan or the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.
Enrico Lübbe, artistic director of Schauspiel Leipzig since 2013, was associate director at the same theatre from 2000 to 2004, at Neues Theater Halle from 2005 to 2007 and Director of Drama at Theater Chemnitz from 2008 to 2013. His work as a theatre and opera director has brought him to Staatstheater Stuttgart, Schauspiel Köln, Residenztheater Munich, Berliner Ensemble, Theater Dortmund, Staatsoper Hannover, the Vienna Volkstheater and others. 
At Schauspiel Leipzig, Enrico Lübbe directed the world premiere of Richard Yates’ “Zeiten des Aufruhrs (Revolution Road)“ in 2014, the double project “Die Schutzflehenden / Die Schutzbefohlenen” (Aeschylus / Jelinek) in 2015 and “Die Maßnahme / Die Perser“ by Brecht / Eisler and Aeschylus in 2017. This latter production will return to this season’s repertory, as will Enrico Lübbe’s other productions, “Der nackte Wahnsinn (Noises Off)” by Michael Frayn and “Der Gott des Gemetzels (God of Carnage)” by Yasmina Reza.

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Wenzel Banneyer as Kasimir
Roman Kaminski as Kommerzienrat Rauch
Roman Kanonik as Der Angestellte
Daniela Keckeis as Karoline
Andreas Keller as Landgerichtsdirektor Speer
Philipp Marguerre as Der Glasharfenspieler
Michael Pempelforth as Schürzinger
Felix Axel Preißler as Der Merkl Franz
Susen Schneider as Juanita
Alexandr Sterlev as Der Ausrufer


Director: Enrico Lübbe
Costumes: Bianca Deigner
Dramaturgy: Torsten Buß
Light: Ralf Riechert