Translated from the English by Martin Thomas Pesl. Recommended for ages: 14 and over
August Strindberg was an inconstant, unhappy spirit who processed his struggles with himself and with the world in a highly personal manner in his oeuvre: often being animated by the battle of the sexes. After addressing Henrik Ibsen and Anton Chekhov, the director Simon Stone who has become renowned for his over-writing technique, now turns his attention to the famous Swedish writer in order to investigate what his fascinating works that oscillate between naturalism and expressionism have in common with us and our experiences of the world in the present day.
Simon Stone takes characters and motifs from several of Strindberg’s rarely performed dramas such as «The Ghost Sonata», «The Pelican» and «To Damascus», as well as his autobiographical writings, and weaves them together with a light touch. His three-act piece is a contemporary human panorama that offers considerable entertainment; in countless scenes, often taking place in parallel, he creates entirely modern tragedies of families and couples driven by hysteria while at the same time extracting so much humour from Strindberg’s dark and grotesque universe that one might almost think Strindberg was a brilliant comedian.
«Hotel Strindberg» is not a homely hostelry but a temporary place o residence for lonely, abandoned, hateful, greedy, covetous, dreaming individuals – young and old. These meet on three floors with reception, rooms and stairs, with the performers often changing identity and floor in a matter of seconds. In the final act one solitary man remains, despairing of the relations between the sexes – might the entire «Hotel Strindberg» have been created in his mind and been nothing but a dream play?
After his theatre productions that were invited to the Berlin Theatertreffen and retrospectively awarded the Nestroy Prize «Angels in America», «John Gabriel Borkman» and «Three Sisters» and his operatic debut with «Die tote Stadt» this is the fifth work for Theater Basel by the Australian director with Basel roots.
A Theater Basel co-production with the Vienna Burgtheater
Preisstufe V (Gr. Bühne)