The Broken Jug (cancelled)

Heinrich von Kleist

Comedy in three acts (1808, rev. 1811)
New version by Anne Lenk and David Heiligers (2021)


21 July 2023 - 7.30 p.m.


approx. 90 minutes (no intermission)

German language, no surtitles
Guest performance by Deutsches Theater Berlin

It is a local day at court in the village of Huysum and, as Judge Adam explains to everyone, he stumbled out of bed that morning and tripped over his own feet. As much as this ‘fall of Adam’ proves to be an apt metaphor, it is just the first of a whole array of lies that the judge will blatantly tell. Because his limp and bruised face are actually the results of an attack he committed the previous night: cornering young Eve in her room, he was taken by surprise by her fiancé Ruprecht and injured himself jumping out of the window. On top of that, he broke a jug. This jug is now brought to court by Eve’s mother Marthe who accuses Ruprecht of the assault. The latter violently protests his innocence while Eve, blackmailed by Adam, remains silent. All this unfolds in the presence of Clerk Licht, who is more intelligent and knowledgeable than he lets on, and the new councillor Walter, who has come to review and audit the judiciary. Adam thus sits in public judgement of himself. His goal is clear: to convict Ruprecht as the perpetrator and swiftly close the case. What makes Kleist’s 1811 play a comedy is above all the audacity of the lies with which the patriarchy exercises its power, secures its positions and entrenches the status quo. The truth counts for nothing at all; instead, it is a matter of blatantly and unscrupulously denying any responsibility. This is supported by a society that plays along hypocritically – proud of its cultural heritage and pretending that it is interested in justice.

Adam, the judge Ulrich Matthes
Licht, the Judge's secretary Jeremy Mockridge
Walter, court Counsel Lorena Handschin
Miss Marthe Rull Franziska Machens
Eve Rull, her daughter Lisa Hrdina
Ruprecht Tümpel Tamer Tahan
Miss Brigitte Julia Windischbauer

Stage Director Anne Lenk
Stage Designer Judith Oswald
Costume Designer Sibylle Wallum
Sound Designer Lenny Mockridge
Lighting Designer Cornelia Gloth
Dramaturge David Heiligers

Text by Deutsches Theater Berlin (