Rechnitz
(Der Würgeengel)

[Rechnitz (The Exterminating Angel)]
Casting may vary, at least 5 performers

At a party, late in the evening someone grabs a gun and, on a whim, kills nearly 200 people. Is this even conceivable? Hardly, aside from visions of horror. Nevertheless research showed that this is exactly what once happened. On the night of march 25th 1945, countess Margit of Batthyany, a Thyssen heiress, was having a party at her castle in Rechnitz near the Austro-Hungarian border with officers of the SS, heads of the Gestapo and local Nazi collaborators. Around midnight about 200 Jewish forced laborers were gathered and shot dead by a bunch of drunks. Shortly thereafter, the assassins fled the country. The castle of Rechnitz went up in flames, the Russians invaded the area. After the war, witnesses to the massacre have disappeared, criminal prosecution leads nowhere. The 200 bodies have not been discovered to this day - but does anyone really want them to be found?
Elfriede Jelinek goes in search of clues, but not as an historian; using Luis Bunuel's The Exterminating Angel as a template, Rechnitz has messengers push their way into a room that none of them will ever leave again. They report the gruesome deed, by way of repetitions, variations and contradictions, they try to put the unspeakable into words, circle around the monstrosity without reaching its core. This creates a dense, multi-layered depiction of events, full of penetrating questions as it remains opaque.

Translations include:
Bulgarian
Czech:
Rechnitz (Andel zkázy)
English: Rechnitz (The Exterminating Angel)
Finnish
Hungarian: Rohonc (Az öldöklö angyal)
Japanese
Polish
Serbian
Slovak:
Rechnitz (Anjel skazy)

Elfriede Jelinek

Elfriede Jelinek

Elfriede Jelinek, who was born in 1946 and grew up in Vienna, now lives in Vienna and Munich. She has received numerous awards for her literary works, which include not only novels but also plays, poetry, essays, translations, radio plays, ...

Plays by Elfriede Jelinek






U: 28.11.2008 Münchner Kammerspiele (Regie: Jossi Wieler)