Der Henker (The Executioner)
In 1921 Maria Lazar’s one-act play The Executioner was performed for the first time at the Neue Wiener Bühne in her native city of Vienna. Around this time, she wrote serial novels for various newspapers and worked as a translator before emigrating. From the summer of 1933 until 1935 she stayed in Karin Michaelis’s house on the Danish island of Thurø together with Helene Weigel and Bertolt Brecht. After living in Copenhagen for four years, she emigrated to Sweden, where she committed suicide in 1948 after an incurable diagnosis.
Mateja Koležnik will direct this one-act play. In this work the audience witnesses the final hours in the life of a murderer who has been sentenced to death. He wants to get to know his executioner and force him to carry out the execution, not because it is his duty, but rather out of deep personal conviction. All sorts of moral viewpoints and stances are explored in the death cell. The murderer challenges the executioner in a moral debate that is uncompromisingly – and yet surprisingly – taken all the way to its conclusion.