DIE LETZTEN (THE LAST ONES)
world Premiere FebruarY 2020
Fear. Fear of terrorism. Fear of change. Fear of social decline. Fear of unfamiliar cultures and religions. Fear is an emotion that is enjoying a global upswing and permeating all spheres of life and society. Fear impacts our society and, consequently, our politics.
In The Last Ones, Simon Stone describes a society paralysed by fear and – like Gorky – sets the story and the themes within the large family of the reactionary chief of police, Ivan Kolomiytsev. Under his command, two young men die after receiving brutal treatment and he is suspended from duty. He is brutal, cynical and strict, not just in his job, but also in the family environment. Together with his wife and children, some of whom are already grown up, he has moved in with his brother and now terrorises the entire family. In this system, the children – who are the “last ones” – can choose either to be just as cynical and corrupt as their father, or to free themselves for good.
Against the backdrop of the Russian Revolution of 1905 and his political stance, Maxim Gorky lived on the island of Capri from 1907 to 1913. During this time, he dedicated himself exclusively to Russian and political issues. It was in this period that he wrote The Last Ones. Two years later, in 1910, it celebrated its premiere at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin. Max Reinhardt directed the production.
In The Last Ones Gorky writes about social processes after the Revolution. He describes the demonisation of immigrants and the fear of terrorism and any kind of change. Simon Stone takes up Gorky’s themes and turns them into his own “last ones”. He is interested both in the social climate Gorky describes in his work and the stifling dynamics in dysfunctional families.