Sunday 5 Nov. // 05:00 – 07:30 p.m.
Piece by Urs Widmer
»They drive Porsches, travel first-class, and live in one-family houses. They are highly qualified, dynamic, and have a strong ability to assert themselves. They are members of the top management – top dogs. A business elite on the sunny side of life. So far. For now the shadows of company downsizing land more and more often in their light-flooded offices. It’s not just a few who have come to share the fate of millions of underdogs: unemployment« (Klaus Baschleben, Leipziger Volkszeitung, 16./17.05.1999).
Power and money don’t protect against dismissal. Make the ring free for striptease of the soul. The experiences make business people from the most different fields appear naked. In a square, similar to a boxing ring, they reveal their innermost being one after the other and hope to come to terms with their disappointments.
The Swiss author Urs Widmer was awarded the significant Mühlheimer theatre award for his play »Top Dogs«, which had its first night in Zurich in 1996. Michael Thalheimer first worked as a producer in Leipzig and created, together with an excellent ensemble, a strong piece of confrontational theatre and a dramatic instruction with rare value: know thyself, without looking into the mirror! The actors keep their names in this play and present a mixture of pressing reality and theatrical abstraction that brilliantly flow into each other.
»›Our society defines itself mainly through work‹, says Urs Widmer. He speaks about the share unemployment has in the degeneration of people. ›If work is no longer possible in such a situation, it will end in disaster. You are nothing without work.‹ Michael Thalheimer’s production thus resolutely deconstructs the legend of never-ending happiness« (Evelyn Finger, Theater der Zeit, Juli/August 1999).
Uraufführung: 14.05.1996, Zürich
Premiere: 13.05.1999, Leipzig
Produktion: Schauspiel Leipzig
(Contribution selected by Schauspiel Leipzig)
Text: Michael Thalheimer
Inszenierung: Michael Thalheimer
Bühnenbild und Kostüm: Olaf Altmann
Darsteller: Dirk Audehm, Christoph Hohmann, Michael Mechel, Günter Schoßböck, Isabel Schosnig, Susanne Stein, Berndt Stübner, Friderikke Maria Weber
10th Festival Year