One early, seemingly peaceful morning, a mother is grumbling about a play she saw at its premiere the evening before, the work of a young playwright entitled „Rette sich, wer kann“ (Every man for himself). Her daughter doesn’t respond. She is busy making tea and packing her bags, as the two of them are about to leave the city villa for their seaside summer residence. The mother uses the time leading up to their departure to harp on, not only about the dour state of theatre and the world in general, but also about how overpriced a recent workman was, while the family’s iron foundry was sold under value. And not to forget her gripes about those two spectres that continue to fuel her rage and shame: her deceased husband and her young, severely disabled son, who will never reach adulthood. With wild abandon, she revels in her greed for meaning and fulfilment – and also in her appetite for playing games, because, for the first time ever, she has invited a guest to the summer residence: the young playwright from last night.
Thomas Bernhard’s play premiered in Salzburg in 1981 and oscillates between wit and madness. Stirred up by cognac, astuteness, masochism and anxiety, the mother drives herself and those around her into a dizzying, intoxicated nosedive.
Copyright Image © Susanne Hassler Smith
Age restriction: 14+