Sympathy for a killer

The lights come on and in a nightgown Ruth Ellis (Lotte Albrecht) enters the stage to the bittersweet Blues of Billie Holiday, which immediately draws the audience into the stylish, but flawed version of the 1950s that forms the backdrop for the story preceding Ruth’s death. On 13 July 1955, at the age of 28 she is hanged, the last woman in Britain to suffer this fate. Her crime: she shot her lover in cold blood. What drove this young, beautiful woman over the edge? Why did she not even attempt to defend herself? These are some of the questions “The Thrill of Love” by Amanda Whittington aims to explore.

An emotional rollercoaster

The story is told in flashbacks through the perspective of Inspector Jack Gale (Jack Sigel). During his investigation he reconstructs a selection of events that give us an insight into the seedy world of gentlemen’s clubs and the women working the nights. Always present on bar room stage, he is a constant reminder that even the happiest moments in the lives of the women there are nothing but stepping stones on the path to the grim future we already know. However, these scenes of joy are one of the greatest feats of the play: it’s all too easy to get lost in the hopelessness and sadness that is usually associated with the story of Ruth Ellis. The playful banter between the women is a welcome break and allows the actresses to display their perfect timing and quick delivery. Thanks to these moments the characters become more than just parts of a tragic story. We become invested in their hopes and dreams, although we should know full well that they are unlikely at best. When this realization finally kicks in during the second half of the play, it hits that much harder.

Powerful performances

There are no extras in “The Thrill of Love”. Every character has his or her moments. The club’s manager Sylvia Shaw (Lucie Marchand) appears to be all business, but she cares deeply about all the women who work for her. The charwoman Doris (Anna Hilbel) often puts her needs behind those of others, even if it puts her own happiness at risk. The young Vicky Martin (Sara Steffes) hopes to meet powerful men and become a star on the big screen. Even Inspector Gale, cold as he may seem, turns out to be motivated by more than the mere desire to solve a case.

An unforgettable evening

“The Thrill of Love” is a powerful experience. The crew surrounding Rudolf Beck has managed to create a captivating atmosphere that lingers long after the curtain closes. We may know the outcome from the very beginning, but we don’t know the story behind it. In finding out, it’s difficult not to feel somewhat like a voyeur. Personal tragedies happen in silence. It’s when they emerge that we start to care.



Thursday 6th December
Friday 7th December
Tuesday 11th December
Thursday 13th December

8 p.m., Hörsaal II


Author & Poster: Andreas Böhm

Ready Editor One

A new term – a new eMAG. New faces everywhere, coupled with the familiar ones. Yet, this term’s editors (Player 1 and Player 2) of our beloved magazine are sitting in front of their computers while everybody else is out playing in the sun. In case you haven’t heard of us, we’re the people who run after you at the end of every term with a bunch of magazines in our hands – by students for students, you know?

The position of Player 1 changes every term, so every new term a new sucker is challenged by being chief editor and trying to figure out how the hell everything works and how s/he is going to publish something readable at the end of term. Luckily, Player 1 is not alone. S/He has his trusty deputy (Player 2) at hand. Player two is, for those of you who like Game of Thrones, the Hand of the King. In this case, Hand to the Editor: advising, shadowing and helping the editor in his/her daily tasks. “But it’s just a magazine – why do you take on so much without getting any credit?” Player 1 is bound to hear that sentence a million times whilst whining about how much s/he has to do. But it’s the product. The finished magazine that fuels our desires and motivates us enough not to go completely insane over the course of time.

So what do we actually do?

Feedback on my own article

This means work… and a lot of it. Not only during class. No, mainly outside of class. You think we sit at a bar all Friday night drinking tequila. Yeah we would love that, actually. Unfortunately, we’re too damn busy. For instance, we have to rewrite a shitload of stuff, draft a million emails and worry about our little sheep that are in the course. You slowly start to realize this can’t be accomplished by a single person or you’ll lose your mind. Also, every game becomes more fun in multiplayer.

Get to know our team

You’ve already heard about the deputy, saving our Player 1 from forgetting appointments but we’re talking about finishing an entire magazine! You need more than co-operation for that. Not an issue, I tell you, because there are enough crazy people here at university to fill those roles. The greedy House Advertising, for example, always looking for the best deal and trying to make enough profit to print the bloody thing, while House Promotion is the one that bugs you at least once a term right in front of the Alte Cafete. Seriously, I would not

Feedback on my own article

recommend messing with them, so just take your copy and leave in peace. Now that you own your very own copy, have a look inside, look how colourful it looks! That was House Layout that will work their (tech) magic to create this clash of text and pictures. Or you know, you’re a freshman, have had no opportunity to meet any of us yet. Too sad, you think, but you’re in luck: you can head over to the realm of House Website… right here: (basically where you are right now so the first step is done.. now click that shiny button saying “print”… go ahead. Dooooooo it.) and have a look at aaaaaaall the magazines (back to #17) that have been printed so far.

You have better stuff to do than to sit in front of your computer and stare at old eMAGs? Why not have a look and judge afterwards, hm? Also, if you want to meet us in person, you should mark the following dates on your calendar:
• Wed, 25.04.2018 – Promotion event for eMAG Website
• Wed, 13.06.2018 – International Day

Where? Hörsaalzentrum. Why? Because we can. So be there and get your mind blown by our amazingness. You better be there!

Author & Pictures: Lea Toleranza

Questions of a reading worker

Who built Thebes of the seven gates?

In the books you find the names of kings.

Was it the kings who hauled the rocks?

And Babylon, repeatedly destroyed.

Who rebuilt it so many times? Which houses

Of golden-gleaming Lima did the workers live in?

The evening the Great Wall of China was completed,

where did the masons go? Imperial Rome

Is full of triumphal arches. Who

Did the Caesars triumph over? Did Byzantium, much extolled,

Offer only palaces to its people? Even in mythical Atlantis,

The night the ocean swallowed it, the drowning screamed for their slaves.

Young Alexander conquered India.

He on his own?

Ceasar beat the Gauls.

Didn’t he at least have a cook with him?

Phillipp of Spain wept when his fleet had sunk.

Was he the only one to weep?

Frederic the Second prevailed in the Seven Years’ War. Other than him,

Who else prevailed?

Every page a victory.

Who cooked the the victors’ feast?

Every ten years a great man.

Who paid for the expenses?

So many reports.

So many questions.


If you like Brecht, be sure to check out this year’s Brechfestival, which will be held from February 23rd to March 4th! For further information visit


Author: Bertolt Brecht | Translation: Maria Diamantopoulou

Fan fiction

Have you ever read a book that became much more than just a book? That smells like home every time you open it and immediately transports you back into a familiar world where everything is as it should be? This article is about what happens after “happy ever after”.


A reader’s problems

I close the book and my eyes, and try to let the last sentence linger a little longer. Just like the sweet taste of chocolate long after you’ve swallowed it, the last sentence of a book stays with you for some time. But even while you enjoy this perfect conclusion of your adventures, a sweet, stinging melancholy fills your heart because now you have to say goodbye to the characters you’ve got to know so well. You’ve become comrades-in-arms now, best friends, or even a family. It’s not surprising that many avid readers refuse to let go of this world – this home away from home.

From reader to writer

So what can you do if the story is over and your favourite author just decides: that’s it? No more books, no more adventures, no more pointed jokes and delicate romances between your favourite characters. Just an excruciating “The end” that leaves a gaping wound in your story-filled heart. Well, if you don’t want the story to be over, then you have to make it continue, right? This is where you enter the wondrous world of fan fiction! Let the journey begin…

Fan fiction

Every big story, no matter if it’s a book or a movie has its own fandom, and therefore its own fan fiction. The internet’s full of blogs that only serve this purpose and many of these amateur writers have created their own small communities. What they do is create alternate endings, sequels or simply continue a story, but the important thing is that they provide their readers with more stories about their heroes and heroines. A little more time in a magical world – an attempt to avoid the imminent, final goodbye.

‘Fangirl’ by Rainbow Rowell

The author, Rainbow Rowell, has even written a book about fan fiction. ‘Fangirl’ is about a girl who writes continuations of her favourite fantasy novel on her own blog. She’s gained a huge number of fans, but no one knows who she really is, since she publishes her stories using a pen name. As you read the book, you understand just how much effort these amateur writers put into their worlds, although most of them don’t even make any money out of it. They only write for their own pleasure, but once they acquire an extensive community of readers, the pressure grows. They receive the first negative criticism, and readers expect plots to match their own expectations. Continuing a story can get really hard at times, but the massive response proves that it’s worth their while. And, in the end, they remember why they started to write in the first place: to be able to lose themselves in a magical world for just a little longer.


Text: Vanessa Hoffmann
Picture: Vanessa Hoffmann

“A chipped glass is ruined forever”

Could you imagine giving away your child? To some stranger you’ve never met? In a completely different country? With a different language which your child doesn’t speak? Completely impossible for a parent, right?

Or from a child’s perspective: could you imagine leaving your parents in order to head off to a new country with a language you don’t speak? Meeting some strangers that will look after you and possibly keep you safe? You wouldn’t know if or when you’d see your parents again. Could you imagine such a thing?


1_kleinOn stage, we meet a mother and her child; the mother is teaching her daughter to sew a button on her coat. The girl is about to leave – without her parents. And she’s only nine years old. She doesn’t want to leave, but the mother promises to join her later. “When is later?” “In a month, or two…”

The light fades and another part of the stage becomes the focus. A mother and daughter enter the attic; the young woman is about to move out. Her mother tries to convince the young adult to take this and that, crystal glasses (only eleven, as one of them has a little damage and “A chipped glass is ruined forever”), cups and so on. We, the audience, can sense some slight disagreement between the two: things unspoken, stories untold. As the story on the stage unfolds, we are introduced to all the things that are happening now and all the untold secrets from many years ago, in a well-hidden past.

The first pair we meet are Eva Schlesinger (Lotte Albrecht) and her mother Helga (Mel Schuster). The second pair are Faith (Jorid Kretzschmar) and her mother, Evelyn (Anna Hilbl). But Evelyn IS Eva. She has been adopted by her foster mom, Lil, (Nika 2_kleinKriss), has been given a naturalisation certificate and changed her name as well as her birthday. She has got rid of her past as a Jewish-German child that was sent away to England for safety reasons. Her daughter, Faith, didn’t know about her mother’s past and by chance finds out about it while she’s rummaging through her own childhood treasures in the attic.

Lots of emotions

The play is about the individual struggles of a child who is sent away because of the Holocaust. There are lots of stories about the children transport that mainly the British organised to help save at least some of the children in danger. Between 1938 and 1939 ten thousand children were taken to Great Britain. When we read about this Refugee Children Movement, we usually get information about their safety or that they more often than not were the only members of their families to survive and consequently most of them never saw their parents again.

What we don’t read about are the struggles and their individual stories of suffering and distress that must have come with being relocated in another country, with people they had never met before, and having to adjust to the new environment. The hardships they went through, growing up and not knowing about their families.

Great teamwork

TitelbildThe AnglistenTheater has succeeded in bringing these struggles to life in the flashbacks during the play between the “now” and “then”. They take the audience on a journey through the life of a young girl who is developing into a woman that at some point has developed into the mother we see in the “now”. To a great extent, this is director Rudolf Beck’s achievement, of course. But there is so much more that makes this production an outstanding experience. Both the stage and costume designs as well as the light and sound help to draw you right into the story; the actors’ marvellous skills make everything absolutely believable. They all played their parts extremely well and if I had to choose, I couldn’t say which performance I liked best. But I imagine that it must have been very difficult to play the young Eva and the grown-up Evelyn in such a convincing way that you can almost feel all the emotions yourself.

Go watch it!

3_kleinWhat I especially liked was the great sound design (Josef Demling). For example, when the ratcatcher (Ian Steffy) – a recurring figure in the play – makes his first appearance by sneaking in from behind the audience, a beautiful but at the same time eerie melody accompanies the action. We hear this lovely, dazzling tune during all his appearances. Whenever you hear it, it feels like it’s hitting something deep inside you and almost makes you want to jump up and follow the ratcatcher and his flute.

Considering the topic of the play it is obvious that it is rather strong stuff to digest, but it is well worth watching. So go and see Diane Samuels’ Kindertransport produced by the AnglistenTheater! There are still three more shows: Mon, 11th | Tue, 12th | Thu, 14th, all starting at 8 pm in lecture hall II (Hörsaal II) in building C.

Text: Angie Czygann
Fotos: Klaus Satzinger-Viel
Cover picture: AnglistenTheater

What goes on behind closed doors?

anglistentheaterOn Thursday, 6th July, the Anglistentheater premiered their latest play “Speaking in tongues”, by Andrew Bovell.

Have you ever wondered how other people cope with their problems? How they seek a cure for their emotional wounds? This play starts by showing us a pretty drastic way of handling an unstable marriage: cheating. Jane is married to Pete and Sonja is married to Leon, yet here our play starts with everyone in a cheap hotel room with the other’s partner. But only Leon and Jane go through with it. Disaster unfolds and Pete leaves Jane and Sonja leaves Leon and as the guys meet each other in one bar and the girls in another, they find that judging and forgiving is harder said than done.

At this point, I was kind of bored, thinking “Great. Another modern play about adultery. So innovative…”, but as the play unfolded it left me speechless. It’s about so much more than just that. It’s a play about mutual love and unrequited love. About unconditional love and doubted love. About trust and betrayal. About therapist and client. About murder and innocence. About sanity and mental illness. About past and present. And about cruelty and kindness. It’s a play about Leon, Sonja, Pete, Jane, Valerie, Sarah, Nick, Neil and John. Each with their own story but still intertwined through all these elements.

I won’t go into further detail, since I don’t wanna spoil the fun, but let me tell you: it’s shocking and mysterious. I also found it devastating to see what horrible things people want to happen to their “loved ones”, just for the sake of their own convenience… enough said.

Andrew Bovell has written an amazing play about the depths of human relationships and the enormous impact apparently small acts can have. The Anglistentheater has done a great job performing it. The actors were marvelous and the stage design really paid attention to detail and came up with great concepts. You could really see how much time, effort and practice everyone had put into making a fabulous premiere.

I recommend you go and see the play for yourself – it’s amazing. But make sure to borrow one of the cushions (the play takes about 2:15 hours, and, let’s be honest, a lecture theatre isn’t that comfy.

Speaking in tongues will be performed on Tuesday 11th and Thursday 13th July 2017

At 8 p.m. in Hörsaal II



Author: Michaela Lappler

Picture: Anglistentheater

Biennale Arte 2017

Il 13 Maggio scorso si è inauguara la 57° Biennale d’arte di Venezia.

L’esposizione internazionale più antica del mondo  – la prima fu inaugurata nel 1895 – deve il nome alla sua scadenza “biennale” (=ogni due anni). Quest’anno la mostra è firmata da una donna: Christine Macel, chief curator del Centre Pompidou di Parigi, che ha intitolato la sua Biennale  VIVA ARTE VIVA, per evidenziare la centralità dell’arte e della vita stessa degli artisti come strumento per comprendere il contemporaneo, al di là delle ideologie  (molto più centrali nelle edizioni precedenti).

Padiglione Centrale



L’esposizione (che terminerà il 26 novembre) si snoda, come da tradizione, in tre diverse aree: I) i Giardini, con i loro 29 padiglioni nazionali e con il grande Padiglione Centrale, II) l’Arsenale (annesso alla Biennale nel 1980), il vecchio complesso rinascimentale di cantieri, officine e depositi da cui usciva un tempo la flotta di Venezia, e III) il centro storico della città che, tra i palazzi delle sue calli, ospita i lavori di ulteriori nazioni. I padiglioni nazionali, 85 in tutto, sono tradizionalmente allestiti dai curatori dei paesi stessi, mentre le due mostre internazionali nelle cosiddette Corderie dell’Arsenale e al Padiglione Centrale dei Giardini, sono dirette dal curatore della Biennale (Christine Macel).

Nonostante per molti addetti ai lavori le partecipazioni nazionali siano un elemento anacronistico (nelle altre “biennali” del mondo queste distinzioni non esistono!), per lo spettatore la visita ai Giardini rimane l’esperienza più bella. I padiglioni storici della Biennale sono infatti immersi in un meraviglioso parco verde (una rarità a Venzia!). Lo spettatore, tra un padiglione e l’altro, può passeggiare lungo i viali di ghiaia, tra il verde della natura o sedersi su una comoda panchina a riflettere sulle opere viste …ed evitare il faticoso tour de force tipico delle grandi mostre!




Quest’anno il “leone d’oro” al miglior padiglione nazionale è andato al Padiglione Tedesco, con la performance Faust di Anne Imhof. Il padiglione, nella sua conformazione attuale, fu eretto durante il regime nazista: un particolare che gli artisti difficilmente possono ignorare.

Anne Imhof (Gießen, 1978) ha voluto richiamare le atmosfere cupe, violente e intimidatorie dei regimi fascisti rinchiudendo fuori dal padiglione, in una grande gabbia, dei cani doberman, il cui abbaiare insistente e minaccioso fa da sottofondo alle performances all’interno. Dentro al padiglione un gruppo di giovani si aggira tra le sale al ritmo di suoni digitali, improvvisando movimenti che evocano violenza, autoerotismo e rapporti sado-maso. L’interno dell’edificio è vuoto e asettico: un espediente che accresce ed esaspera ulteriormente nel visitatore la sensazione d’angoscia. Il pavimento delle sale è ricoperto da una pedana di vetro trasparente, al di sotto della quale si muovono altri performers, dando allo spettatore l’impressione di calpestarli.

Photo Andrea Avezzù - Courtesy la Biennale di Venezia

Ai giardini si trova anche una delle due sezioni curate da Christine Macel: il Padiglione centrale, con una parte delle opere dei 120 artisti selezionati.

Il biglietto della mostra permette l’accesso anche all’altro grande spazio (17.000 mq!) annesso alla Biennale: l’Arsenale, nelle cui Corderie si snoda la seconda (e principale) sezione dell’esposizione di Christine Macel. Per raggiungere l’Arsenale, dai Giardini si può prendere la navetta Giardini-Arsenale, il vaporetto n. 1, o fare una passeggiata di ca. 10-15 minuti lungo la laguna.

Quest’anno anche il “leone d’oro” di questa parte dell’esposizione, quello al migliore artista, è andato ad un tedesco: Franz Erhard Walther (Fulda, 1939) con le sue bellissime installazioni geometriche di stoffa colorata esposte all’Arsenale …. Insomma: quella del 2017 possiamo proprio definirla la “Biennale della Germania”!


Author: Francesca Talpo

Pictures:  Il Padiglione Centrale ai Giardini (©la Biennale di Venezia)

Le opere di Franz Erhard Walther alle Corderie dell’Arsenale (©la Biennale di Venezia)

L’Arsenale (©Photo Andrea Avezzù – Courtesy la Biennale di Venezia)