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Slovene National Theatre Maribor
A Respectable Wedding <em>Photo: Damjan Švarc</em>
Photo: Damjan Švarc

Bertolt Brecht

A Respectable Wedding

Die Kleinbürgerhochzeit
Director: Mateja Koležnik
Premiere: 5 December 2009, Old Hall
Social love comedy

German playwright Bertolt Brecht (1898–1956) was a very prolific writer in the field of theatre theory and practice. He was also a dramatist, poet, narrator, director and theatre director. He was creating and reforming the theatre of the 20th century for nearly forty years. With the "Verfremdungseffekt" Brecht paved the way for a new theatre which avoids the illusionary deception of the petite bourgeoisie educational theatre. He rebelled against the petite bourgeoisie society and its mentality in many of his plays including A Respectable Wedding.

In A Respectable Wedding (1919) Brecht ruthlessly ridiculed the apparent perfection, false morality, sentimentality and commonness of the petite bourgeoisie. The world of illusionary happiness of the petite bourgeoisie, which reaches its peak with a wedding, collapses in front of the audience as quickly as the groom’s handmade furniture, which breaks even before the wedding reception finishes.

The happiest day of the wedding couple turns into hell: "Tomorrow everyone will know what it was like and everybody will laugh. In church they will be looking at us while thinking of the furniture and the lamp that wasn’t lit and what’s worse, that the bride is pregnant. And I was going to say that it was premature birth." A Respectable Wedding features witty and relaxed dialogues, word plays, allegorical turns and absurd humour.

In one of his many essays, Brecht describes petite bourgeoisie as: "They realized that without leadership they were as good as a flock of sheep. ‘If you don’t press us hard, yell at us and punch us in the face, we will remain like pathetic rag dolls,’ they said, ‘we cannot walk around like this.’ Luckily a leader was found and they gave him power…"

In his article "Rojstvo nacizma iz duha malomeščanstva" ("The Birth of Nazism from the Spirit of Petite Bourgeoisie") Jure Gantar talks about how the petite bourgeoisie influenced the rise of Hitler and his Nazi dictatorship. "Despite all, it is logical that A Respectable Wedding, which was written in the midst of the revolutionary chaos in 1919, can be read as a historical document on the birth of the German version of Fascism. Furthermore, the views of the wedding guests in A Respectable Wedding represent all the basic convictions which, a few years later, transform into Nazism ideology."

In her article "Malomeščani moje domovine … ("The  Bourgeoisie of my Country …")  dramaturge Tanja Lužar wrote: "Actually, the wedding guests are not in high spirits; they are burdened by their own problems, full of hidden frustrations and unsolved conflict and instead of letting the wine relax them and lighten the atmosphere, it brings out their bitterness … The wedding guests are gradually losing their dignity, while their confidence is subsiding together with the homemade furniture. Propriety reaches its peak when The Bride starts dancing wildly with The Friend and when The Friend sings his song called The Virgin Ballad."

A Respectable Wedding was put on SNG Maribor Stara dvorana stage by Mateja Koležnik, one of the most interesting Slovenian directors, who likes to put on stage new Slovenian and international plays. However, she also works with classical texts which capture the spirit of our time. In 2001 she was awarded the Borštnik Award for best play (Harrower’s Knives in Hens) and the Prešeren Fund Award for Knives in Hens and The Celebrations by Vinterberg/Rukov. In 2004 she directed Miller’s Death of a Salesman, for which she and Jože Logar received the Borštnik Award for scenography. In season 2008/2009 she put Orton’s erotic comedy What the Butler Saw on Stara dvorana stage.

Cast

Peter Boštjančič
Irena Varga
Mateja Pucko
Maša Žilavec
Nejc Ropret
Jurij Drevenšek
Vladimir Vlaškalić
Ksenija Mišič
Davor Herga
Matija Stipanič

Cast: Peter Boštjančič, Irena Varga, Mateja Pucko, Maša Židanik, Nejc Ropret, Vladimir Vlaškalić, Ksenija Mišič, Davor Herga, Matija Stipanič

Photo gallery

A Respectable Wedding <em>Photo: Damjan Švarc</em>

Photo: Damjan Švarc

A Respectable Wedding <em>Photo: Damjan Švarc</em>

Photo: Damjan Švarc

A Respectable Wedding <em>Photo: Damjan Švarc</em>

Photo: Damjan Švarc

A Respectable Wedding <em>Photo: Damjan Švarc</em>

Photo: Damjan Švarc

A Respectable Wedding <em>Photo: Damjan Švarc</em>

Photo: Damjan Švarc

A Respectable Wedding <em>Photo: Damjan Švarc</em>

Photo: Damjan Švarc

A Respectable Wedding <em>Photo: Damjan Švarc</em>

Photo: Damjan Švarc

A Respectable Wedding <em>Photo: Damjan Švarc</em>

Photo: Damjan Švarc

A Respectable Wedding <em>Photo: Damjan Švarc</em>

Photo: Damjan Švarc

A Respectable Wedding <em>Photo: Damjan Švarc</em>

Photo: Damjan Švarc

A Respectable Wedding <em>Photo: Damjan Švarc</em>

Photo: Damjan Švarc

A Respectable Wedding <em>Photo: Damjan Švarc</em>

Photo: Damjan Švarc

A Respectable Wedding <em>Photo: Damjan Švarc</em>

Photo: Damjan Švarc

A Respectable Wedding <em>Photo: Damjan Švarc</em>

Photo: Damjan Švarc

A Respectable Wedding <em>Photo: Damjan Švarc</em>

Photo: Damjan Švarc


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