Bekannte Gesichter, gemischte Gefühle

Bekannte Gesichter, gemischte Gefühle


4F / 4M

A remote hotel on Christmas holiday. Three married couples, who at times had affairs with each other, live here with and against each other. The hotel belongs to Stefan (married to Doris). His plan to sell the hotel puts the group in jeopardy. Guenther (married to Hedda), caretaker and silent power center of the house, forms an amateur dance team with Doris. Dieter (married to Margot) has a job in the ministry for the interior. The sextet is being completed by Karl, the "Victim", who many years ago was hit by the car of one of the men, and has been their permanent patient ever since. Long ago the hotel mutated into a "museum of passion", a scene for extinct feelings. Doris and Guenther still find a remnant of satisfaction while dancing - until Doris falls during training. She is quickly replaced by an mechanically perfect doppelganger. But the real Doris returns, admits to Stephan that she is pregnant, ready for a new existence. In the end Stephan commits suicide, not coincidentally in a freezer... Strauss's "woefully precise bourgeois comedy" (Die Zeit) demonstrates the non-success of relationships encumbered by performance angst, competition and loss of self. Only Karl's surreal magic skills provide an utopist counterpoint to reality, where the characters frequently are in for a harsh landing. Botho Strauss received the Hannover Drama Award for Bekannte Gesichter, gemischte Gefühle in 1974.

World premiere
02.09.1975 Staatstheater Stuttgart (Director: Niels-Peter Rudolph)

Selected translations
English: Familiar faces, Confused feelings
French: Visages connus, sentiments mêlés
Turkish: Tanidik Yüzler Karisik Duygular

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