Siblings Serge, Jean and Nana Popper live in Paris. They are the descendants of Shoah survivors whose stories are rooted in Hungary and Vienna. Their grandfather, great-aunt and great-grandmother were all murdered in Auschwitz. As members of the late second postwar generation the three siblings are slowly approaching retirement – which doesn’t mean that their lives are on an even keel: Serge’s girlfriend, Valentina, has left him and he is still hopping from one job to the next. His relationship with his daughter, Josephine, is complicated. Jean is also separated. And Nana is struggling, both in her marriage and with her two children, trying everything she can to just keep her head above water. There simply isn’t the time or leisure to deal with the family’s traumatic history. Or is it a question of motivation? But when their mother dies, the three siblings decide to confront their past. They set off on a road trip to Auschwitz that also proves to be a test of their relationship, as they finally walk around the former extermination camp and try, more or less successfully, to connect with their compassion.
In her novel SERGE, French author Yasmina Reza (born 1959) has attempted to re-examine how the Shoah is remembered from a Jewish perspective. By juxtaposing the horrors of the extermination camps with day-to-day life in the neoliberal 21st century, she raises a new, pressing question: how can we remain in touch with that legacy? SERGE is the fifth text by Yasmina Reza to be performed at the Burgtheater, following LIFE x 3, ART, GOD OF CARNAGE and BELLA FIGURA.
Joséphine/ MarionLilith Häßle,
Zita Feifer / PauletteInge Maux,
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