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PROGRAMME DETAIL

Duncan Macmillan • The Forbidden Zone

World premiere

Co-production with the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz in cooperation with Prospero

In German and English with German and Englisch surtitles

Duration approx. 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Print programme (PDF)

LEADING TEAM

Duncan Macmillan, Text
Katie Mitchell, Director
Leo Warner, Video
Lizzie Clachan, Sets
Sussie Juhlin-Wallen, Costumes
Finn Ross, Director of Photography
Gareth Fry, Melanie Wilson, Sound
Jack Knowles, Lighting

CAST

Kate Duchêne, Andreas Schröders, Scientist
Ruth Marie Kröger, Clara Haber
Jenny König, Claire Haber
Felix Römer, Fritz Haber
Giorgio Spiegelfeld, French Soldier
Andreas Hartmann, Stefan Kessissoglou, Camera
Sebastian Pircher, Camera / American Soldier

ABOUT THE PRODUCTION

The Forbidden Zone is a powerful new work about women, science and war in the first half of the twentieth century. Conceived by the director Katie Mitchell, working together with an extensive team of her regular artistic collaborators, this is contemporary theatre in a cinematic form, with screen images being created live on stage in real time. The drama moves at thrilling speed between a range of locations in Europe and America and events in 1949 and 1915.
At the heart of the play is a young woman, Claire Haber, a scientist and refugee from Nazi Germany, who is embarking upon adulthood in the aftermath of the Second World War in a world dominated by weapons of mass destruction. She is a chemist, the daughter and granddaughter of chemists, one of whom was awarded the Nobel Prize. Claire is trying to find antidotes for chemical weapons but when her efforts are thwarted by political decisions, her thoughts become increasingly drawn back to the First World War of 1914-18, when poison gas was deployed for the first time, and to her grandparents, Fritz Haber and Clara Immerwahr, who held deeply opposing views on this issue. How did these weapons come to be used? What was the cost?  What more could have been done to prevent their use? The more Claire thinks about what must have happened between her grandparents, the more urgent and fundamental are the moral questions she is forced to ask and the more difficult her own choices become. She becomes convinced that war must be stopped at any cost.  But what can she do? What reasonable course of action can any human being undertake in a world that seems hell-bent on war?
Duncan Macmillan’s script references texts by several influential feminist authors from the period including Virginia Woolf, Emma Goldman, Hannah Arendt, Simone de Beauvoir and the American novelist and poet Mary Borden, whose collection of sketches prompted by running a field hospital in Flanders provides the title. The result is a complex and layered work of many voices which seeks to create a vivid and intense experience of history.
Performed in two languages by a cast made up of both German- and English-speaking actors, The Forbidden Zone marks the centenary of the outbreak of World War One by bringing together an international ensemble of artists using modern technology to create an epic narrative to stand alongside the established canon of dramatic treatments of the conflict.

SALZBURG FESTIVAL BLOG

Katie Mitchell talks to David Tushingham about “The Forbidden Zone”

29 JUL2014

by FESTSPIELKIEBITZ  13:04 h;
posted in: Drama

Katie Mitchell is one of the most important theatre and opera directors in Great Britain, having been Resident Director at the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal Court Theatre and London's National Theatre. Her Cologne production of Friederike Mayröcker's Reise durch die Nacht was invited to the Berlin Theatre Meeting in 2013 and nominated for the Nestroy Prize in the category "Best German-Language Performance". In Salzburg she is known chiefly for her highly successful production of Luigi Nono's Al gran sole carico d'amore (2009). This year she directs The Forbidden Zone at the Perner-Insel Hallein.

read more ...

“The Forbidden Zone” marks the centenary of the outbreak of World War One

17 JUN2014

by FESTSPIELKIEBITZ  16:33 h;
posted in: Drama

The Forbidden Zone is a powerful new work about women, science and war in the first half of the twentieth century. Conceived by the director Katie Mitchell, working together with an extensive team of her regular artistic collaborators, this is contemporary theatre in a cinematic form, with screen images being created live on stage in real time. The drama moves at thrilling speed between a range of locations in Europe and America and events in 1949 and 1915. 

read more ...

“The Forbidden Zone” • The Production now focuses on Clara Immerwahr

30 JAN2014

by FESTSPIELKIEBITZ  14:14 h;
posted in: Drama

The English director Katie Mitchell has been commissioned by the Salzburg Festival as part of our season reflecting on the First World War to create the project The Forbidden Zone for the Perner-Insel Hallein stage. Katie Mitchell and her writer Duncan Macmillan’s initial inspiration came from Mary Borden’s autobiographical work of the same name. During Katie Mitchell and Duncan Macmillan’s process of research and preparation their interest in the events of the First World has evolved.

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Death Star (Detail), © Robert Longo

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Perner-Insel, Hallein (Display seating plan with categories)

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EDITORIAL 2014

Drama 2014

by Sven-Eric Bechtolf

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