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nach Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Clavigo

New production
Co-production with the Deutsches Theater Berlin

Duration of performance approx. 2 hours.


  • 27 July 2015, 19:30


  • 29 July 2015, 19:30
  • 31 July 2015, 19:30
  • 02 August 2015, 19:30
  • 04 August 2015, 19:30
  • 06 August 2015, 19:30
  • 07 August 2015, 19:30
  • 09 August 2015, 19:30

Print programme (PDF)


Stephan Kimmig, Director
Eva-Maria Bauer, Sets
Johanna Pfau, Costumes
Pollyester, Music
Julian Krubasik, Lambert Strehlke, Video
Sonja Anders, Dramaturgy


Susanne Wolff, Clavigo
Moritz Grove, Carlos
Kathleen Morgeneyer, Beaumarchais
Marcel Kohler, Marie Beaumarchais
Franziska Machens, Buenco


“Odd! It seems to me that one only lives once in the world, only has these powers, these prospects once, and anyone who fails to use them for the best, who fails to push himself as far as possible, is a fool.”
At 24, the young Goethe, frenetically celebrated by his readers for his Werther, is already tired of being a genius. He is drawn to Weimar, where a political career awaits. Before that, however, he wants to write a play in an “orderly fashion” – not as wild and daring as his Götz, published a year earlier. He writes his Clavigo playfully, in only eight days. The tragedy, not very beloved among his contemporaries, is based on a true story: at the court in Madrid, the sister of the writer Beaumarchais was abandoned by the courtier Clavijo after repeated promises of marriage. Goethe developed the story of this affair further; on the one hand, the young authors Clavigo and Carlos, hungry for success, on the other hand Marie, her admirer Buenco and her brother Beaumarchais, determined to avenge his sister. It all ends with Marie’s death, who dies broken-hearted at the betrayal…
Career and love – these are the two coordinates Goethe would explore throughout his entire life, never tiring of describing their incompatibility. All the more remarkable that Goethe portrays them as diametrically opposed life concepts even in his early Clavigo. His title figure Clavigo, obviously Goethe’s alter ego, author of various writings, attractive and successful, needs love in order to be creative: it fires the imagination and intoxicates, offering a balm for his artistic soul. However, as soon as romantic feeling is bound up with faithfulness, promises or even marriage – as seems a matter of course to his bride Marie – the enchantment quickly evaporates. After all, the artist needs erotic titillation and: absolute freedom!
Erotic adventures, professional success and an egocentric striving for liberty – all of them an almost exclusively male preserve during Goethe’s era – have long become a female domain as well. In Stephan Kimmig’s production, Clavigo is played by a woman – her libidinous independence and successful career are shown as a matter of fact; factors such as man, woman, time, biology are taken playfully; terms such as freedom, passion, pain or contradiction examined without fixed assumptions about roles. In its complexity, Goethe’s text serves as a mirror – including historical and role-specific differences – and is countered in a playful dealing with today’s world. The resulting questions address artists’ social activism, their self-deception and projections, but also self-delusion, lies and emptiness. These are questions also examined by Goethe in his dramas. Why are we incapable of living and loving without each other, but cannot live with each other either? What is the meaning of artistic freedom? Is the romantic idea of lasting love an illusion? Does happiness last but a moment? 

Sonja Anders
Translated by Alexa Nieschlag