Germany, Karl Marx’ Capital on stage

Karl Marx, Das KapitalFrom British daily The Guardian:

Collective puts Marx’s Das Kapital on stage

Jess Smee in Berlin

Thursday November 9, 2006

There is no wedding, no romantic interest and no plot to speak of.

Instead the reader of Karl Marx’s epic work, Das Kapital, is treated to a lengthy treatise on the division of labour and capitalist modes of production, offered up in long, convoluted sentences.

Yet none of this has deterred a German theatre group from achieving the seemingly impossible: bringing the huge classic on economic theory to the stage.

Not since Proust was serialised has a dramatist faced such a gargantuan task – turning catchy topics such as “the production of absolute surplus value” into a crowd puller.

To that purpose, the stage of the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus is bedecked with bookcases and a bust of Marx.

Eight people – selected from among the few who have read the book from cover to cover – tell their own stories, creating a theatrical collage where Marx forms the common thread.

The play, Kapital: Volume One, is the brainchild of Rimini Protokoll, a collective of young German directors who have made a name for themselves in “documentary theatre”.

In Kapital, the participants make up a diverse bunch.

There is a staunch Marxist who rails against Coca-Cola and the evils of consumer society, a socialist singer from the former communist east Germany, and a blind call-centre worker who dreams of going on Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

In an unusual take on audience participation, every theatregoer gets a bound book – Volume 23 of the Collected Works of Marx and Engels.

Marx and Hegel: here.

11 thoughts on “Germany, Karl Marx’ Capital on stage

  1. Unknown Karl Marx letter sells for €52,000

    Published: 3 Apr 08 11:30 CET

    A previously unknown letter from German socialist philosopher Karl Marx sold for €52,000 at an auction in Berlin on Wednesday evening.

    Auction house J.A. Stargardt announced the sale to a private German collector on Thursday. The missive had been valued at €30,000.

    The four-page letter, dated October 16, 1865, is addressed to Sophie Gräfin von Hatzfeld. The countess was the partner of Ferdinand Lassalle, who is considered the founder of the Social Democratic movement in Germany.

    In the letter, Marx discussed Lasalle, who died in a duel, and his “scepticism” regarding the worker’s movement.

    The political thinker and philosopher authored the “Communist Manifesto” in 1848. He died in London in 1883.

    DPA/The Local ( 30 20253575)


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