Rugged rocks, a mammoth, wafts of mist: The opulent stage set transports the audience to the cave in the Neandertal where the skeleton of an early man was found in 1865. From here the view goes outside, where the mammoth sits down at an organ, plays and sings. A man in a fur costume enters the cave, makes fire and tells the story of a life that began outside Hamburg in 1976. When he pauses, we read sentences from a lecture by Johann Carl Fuhlrotts about the discovery in the Neanderthal.
The story of the man, his name is Malte Scholz, is the story of a depression, his own depression, and a suicide, that of his brother. With every step forward in the cave age, in Scholz’s narrative, in Fuhlrotts discoveries and in the dramaturgy of the singing mammoth, GREAT DEPRESSIONS advances further into the heart of our civilization. Loving, with gentle seriousness, with poetry and wit, and yet virtually unyielding in the search for what community spirit we as a species probably still have at our disposal, GREAT DEPRESSIONS is a very special theatrical and philosophical balancing act – right up to the grand finale.
Jan Philipp Stange, b. 1987, studied directing at the Hessian Theater Academy in Frankfurt/M. He is co-founder and co-director of the Frankfurt production house studioNAXOS. His work DIE TAGESSCHAU could be seen at the Körber Studio Junge Regie and at the festival Radikal jung. GREAT DEPRESSIONS is his fourth production after graduation and was shown at the Impulse Theater Festival 2019.