YVONNE, PRINCESS OF BURGUNDY
by Witold Gombrowicz
translated from Polish by Olaf Kühl
Premiere 09 December 2023
"Let's say someone comes to you and tells you that you are such and such a person, tells you the worst, most horrible things, things that kill a person, just finish you off, make you lose your speech and your life. And you then say, "Yeah, I'm like that, that's true, but .... But what?" - With these words, Prince Philip tries to draw his newly engaged Yvonne out, but in doing so he also describes the essential plot of the first work by Polish author Witold Gombrowicz. Written in 1935, it was not discovered for the stage until the 1960s, when it was interpreted primarily in the tradition of absurdist theater. For Gombrowicz defies all categorization in his title character: she remains silent, lets all humiliations pass her by seemingly unmoved, and finally swallows without resistance the bone that the royal court serves her with murderous intent. The fact that the prince brings her to court in order to snub his parents and the entire ossified court and declare their model of rule to be over is soon forgotten, for he too soon becomes one of her tormentors.
Gombrowicz barely contours Yvonne's identity, but he unmasks all the more clearly the narrow-mindedness, rage, and violence with which she is excluded. In this play, which he himself described as a comedy, Gombrowicz also reflects the totalitarian armaments and repressive mechanisms of his time, which the young Polish director Wiktor Bagiński reinterprets for the present.
Production Wiktor Bagiński
Stage and video Nicole Marianna Wytyczak
Costumes Isabelle Edi, Mariama Sow
Music Ifeoma Ude
Lighting Markus Schadel
Dramaturgy Katrin Michaels
from 8€ for students