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"Next door" at the St. Pauli Theater

There is the wonderful psychological thriller Next Door, based on the script by Daniel Kehlmann.

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"Next door" at the St. Pauli Theater

There is the wonderful psychological thriller Next Door, based on the script by Daniel Kehlmann. Daniel Brühl plays the successful western actor Oliver, Peter Kurth turns his opponent Bruno into a frustrated, ie really dangerous ex-Stasi who is now adept at all things western. If you want to experience the story of the loser on the path of revenge with full force, so that it really gets under your skin, you shouldn't put the DVD in at the moment, but go to the St. Pauli Theater. There, Stephan Grossmann as Bruno in the psycho duel with Oliver Mommsen as Oliver surpasses himself - the unequal couple makes the German premiere of the Kehlmann thriller an unforgettable theatrical event.

Unlike Peter Kurth in the film or Norman Hacker at the Burgtheater in Vienna – where the play, according to the Oliver actor Florian Teichtmeister, was discontinued “in relation to recordings of sexual child abuse” (Burgtheater) – Stephan Grossmann initially emanated practically no danger at all , as he enters his favorite East Berlin pub (detailed, creepy wooden-beautiful, realistic revolving stage design: Raimund Bauer). He reminds a little of Gert Fröbe in "It happened in broad daylight". Grossmann is a supposedly clumsy bear who has apparently suffered a sad fate. The transformation into an ex-Stasi employee on the revenge campaign is all the more crass in director Ulrich Waller's production, which is both psychologically and dramatically to the point.

Bruno wants to destroy Oliver, who stands for everything he hates: prosperity, Wessi, homeowners, winners of reunification, womanizers. He also lives in the same house, in the former apartment of Bruno's father, who was evicted by a Western speculator after reunification. The apartment was converted into a loft and can now be reached by elevator. Bruno himself lives in a small apartment in the front building, with stairs. But his night shift at the Girozentrale makes him a dangerous ex-Stasi with access to the personal credit card data and account transactions of the successful actor Oliver and his wife Clara (Anne Weber).

Bruno has long since spied on the couple's dark secrets, which are supposedly well kept, but in fact are pitifully badly kept (this lack of credibility is a weakness of the Kehlmann play). Because he not only accesses the account data, he has also gained access to the apartment, which he carefully monitors and secures evidence. A good basis for blackmail. Grossmann seems more driven, more dangerous with every scene. Oliver's problem: Bruno doesn't want money, he wants revenge. It unfolds in a cat-and-mouse game in which Oliver Mommsen is also in great form and exudes danger. He plays the successful actor in a rather sensitive, sympathetic, semi-arrogant manner. Self-mockery is alien to him. Actually, Oliver doesn't have time to respond to the chatter of the strange Ossis, he's on his way to London to audition for a hero role in a new Marvel film. The meaningless phone calls with Disney agents from the pub in Mitte, consistently in English, give the piece a wonderfully grotesque touch.

Grossmann and Mommsen fought battle after battle, and in the end it remained unclear who would win the war. Oliver can only counter Bruno's revelations with criminal threats. An affair by Clara is just as obvious as violence against their own children by the nanny and Oliver's use of expensive pornographic offers on the Internet. In return, the viewer learns more and more about Bruno's motives for revenge, about his devalued life. What rounds off the evening wonderfully: the pub guests, above all the bar stool stool Micha, who keeps shouting his displeasure at the world where nothing works in a way that he could understand. Torsten Hammann obviously enjoys the role a lot, he knocks out the conspiracy theory sensitivities that it's a real pleasure.

The landlady of the pub (Nadja Petri) is characterized by an unshakable landlady calm. She admires Oliver, but has an accomplice bond with Bruno, as is indicated here with a few glances. She supplies jelly and schnapps to fuel the duel. Clara only looks angry once at the pub to end the relationship. And Anna Catarina Fadda plays a young, lost tourist who would like to have a photo with Oliver. As a taxi driver, a sober alcoholic and Dirk, Martin Wolf has three very different appearances.

Waller has separated the scenes of the piece almost cinematically with fades to black, which allow you to pause briefly and raise the question: What can top what you have just seen, which dark sides will still come to light? It's reliably surpassed in the next scene, right through to the equally surprising finale. The director also works heavily with the music, which sounds here from a jukebox, for which there is a remote control behind the counter, and with the medium of the short bar dance, with which the opponents archaically underline their respective moods.

Dates: until April 9th ​​at the St. Pauli Theater

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