Augenblick mal! 1995

Montag, 10. April 1995 | Berliner Ensemble - Probebühne

theaterspielplatz, Staatstheater Braunschweig
Die Jungens nebenan
von Tom Griffin
aus dem amerikanischen Englisch übersetzt von Peter von Wiese
Gerhard Pegler-Verlag, München
ab 14 Jahren | 150 Minuten

Director: Michael Heicks
Stage and Costume Design: Jürgen Höth
Choreography: Antonio Gomes
Dramaturgy: Jutta M. Staerk
Actor(s): Allen Browne (Lucien P. Smith), Frank Buchwald (Barry Klemper), Wolfgang Grossmann (Jack Palmer), Johanna Gsell (Mrs Warren), Martin Huber (Arnold Wiggins), Werner Koller (Norman Bulansky), Heinz W. Krückeberg (Senator Clarke, Mr. Klemper), Karla Mehrtens (Sheila), Ursula Pult (Mrs. Fremus), Thomas Sander (Mr. Bush)
Assistant director: Gertrud Pigor
Film: Martin Weinhart, Ulrich Zrenner


The boys Arnold, Barry, Lucien and Norman live together in a flat. They work, go dancing, play golf and alternate doing the daily chores. Yet this is not always so easy, as the boys suffer from mental diseases and handicaps. Therefore, they are regular


An ill-humoured social worker introduces us to four boys, mentally handicapped to psychically disturbed. He wants to quit his job. The whole play takes place in the patients' flat, who should get used to a life in normality. During the course of the play, we slowly get to know the boys, their macabre, foolish dialogues, the obstinacy with which each does his 'thing'. How difficult it is to communicate, to understand each other! In the end, the emotional neediness of these disturbed boys drives the social worker to surrender. The whole play is presented quite naturalistically and aesthetically simplistic, the main thrust placed on the impressive character portrayals. Would a film on the same subject have been better? Michael Heicks, the director, does not shy away from this medium and actually implements it in the performance. And for a few minutes, the crude reality of the therapy-community is transposed into a TV dream world. Then back we are thrown into the merciless here and now of the theatre. At the end, there is another short allusion to the TV world... this time the inane sound of Beevis and Butthead's laughter (strictly for insiders). The 'theaterspielplatz' in Braunschweig has managed to present a social comedy which at no point slips into a boulevard style. We are brought to laughter, human in that no one denounces it. It is remarkable how under the direction of Michael Heicks, a comedy can be a vehicle for fashionable cynicism, real content and a good story. A pity we can't see the likes more often!

Ingrid Hentschel on behalf of the jury

Back to overview