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German State Theatre Timișoara

Not to Go Out, Not to Watch the Telly! / Nothing More Beautiful

by Ulrich Plenzdorf and Oliver Bukowski

Directed by Georg Peetz

Using a combination of a Berlin dialect and a teenager's slang, the author creates the portrait of a young man from the former GDR, whose mother flees to the West, leaving him under his father's supervision, a character well-anchored in the communist society. The boy is eager to see the members of the "Rolling Stones" band who – according to rumours – are going to concert in the close vicinity of the Berlin wall. The youngster's vain hopes come into conflict with his father's authority, but also with the jargon of the Party media, who broadcasts enthusiastic reports regarding the festivities organised for the 20th celebration of the German Democratic Republic. The play depicts the drama of a family from the perspective of its political implications, especially more since it reveals in almost prophetic manner the catalyst of the rebellion which would lead to the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall.

Ulrich Plenzdorf, a writer a script author, was born in Berlin in 1934, studied Philosophy in Leipzig and movie directing in Berlin-Babelsberg. He scored his first major success, both in East and West Germany with the play "New Sufferings of Young W." in 1972. One year later his film, "The Legend of Paul and Paula", premieres in GDR, and in 1975 it premieres in GFR, as well. For "Not to Go Out, Not to Watch the Telly" Plenzdorf is awarded in 1978 the "Heinrich Mann" Prize. His scripts make the starting point in the 90s for several films which tackle with an often quite critical the realities in reunified Germany.


After an intense night of love, Mechthild Huschke, a peasant woman not in her prime anymore, thinks of her lover, between the four walls of her room, exhausted and dizzy with happiness. At least THEN, when he recited a poem to her, she knew that "See? Someone loves you, too…" Since then Mechthild has been living in ecstatic impatience. Whether she is just changing the furniture in the house, or using a ladyshave, Mechthild's mind is always working on something. Mechthild Huschke is a simple woman, and her dialect has a slight hint of crudity, but, nevertheless, she never loses her self-esteem. At times, Mechthild's thoughts linger in the past. That is when she remembers Dieter, who had a motorbike and very nice thighs, but who had been long six feet under, after having been pulled out all shredded to pieces from the cereal grinding machine. Mechthild openly admits she is a murderer. This is the reason why she was confined for six years in prison and into a psychiatric facility. But Dieter himself was the one to blame as he – drunk and brutal – had administered the alleged pregnant woman blows to her belly, thus compelling her to commit murder. Whenever she is overwhelmed with sadness, she indulges in tons of chocolate. But where could Dieter be?! She had stumbled upon him once, in her own delusive mind, in a coffee house. Floating among cookies and euphoric dances, she saw herself getting married to him. Ridiculously dressed as a bride, Mechthild is now waiting – God knows what – resting on the window sill. All of a sudden, the doorbell pulls her back into reality.

Author Oliver Bukowski, born in 1961 in Cottbus (GDR), studied Philosophy and Sociology, and since the beginning of the 1990s, he has been successfully writing  drama scripts. For "London- LÄ- Lübbenau" he was distinguished in 1994 with the "Gerhart Hauptmann" Award, and in 1996 with the Youth Theatre Award for "One way or another". In 1999 he receives the Mühlheim Drama Prize for his text "Guests". The play "Nothing more Beautiful" was written in 1997, and one year later it had its world premiere at the State Theatre in Schwerin.

Premiere: November 24, 2006, 7 p.m.