When fiction becomes reality

  1. General Giessen
  2. Wetterau
  3. Bad Vilbel


By: Inge Schneider


Bad Vilbeler’s production of the psychological thriller “Therapy” shows the whole spectrum of feelings and emotional tension – with Martin Bringmann and Ralph Hönicke. © Kuq

The psychological thriller “Therapy”, based on the novel by Sebastian Fitzek and directed by Ulrich Cyran, had a very successful premiere at the Burgfestspiele on Saturday.

The stage in the basement of the historic castle theater with ditches has something claustrophobic, despite the excellent lighting and semi-transparent walls. In its simplicity, with the pedestal covered by a thin layer of water and a steel cube with tubing as a seat, it is more like a prison cell, a hermitage, a sick room – or the imaginary solitary island, hit by the storm , Parkum in which the former star psychiatrist Dr. Viktor Larenz (Ralph Hönicke) seeks protection and isolation in order to finally be able to end the mysterious disappearance of his daughter Josy after four years.

Between the inner world and the outside world

With an extremely dense premiere of the psychological thriller “Therapy,” which was gasping for breath and based on Sebastian Fitzek’s 2006 debut novel, director Ulrich Cyran and his ensemble set an impressive exclamation mark at the beginning of this one. Castle of the Year Festival in the basement of the Bad Vilbeler Wasserburg theater. The meeting between the grieving and helpless father and the enigmatic Anna Spiegel (Svenja Wasser) is staged with somnambulistic certainty like what Fitzek had in mind and what playwright Marc Gruppe has virtuously applied in his theatrical version:

The complex game of deception between the inner and outer world, reality and fiction, the clear will to clarify, the deep oppression and destructive madness that keeps the viewer in constant tension. The nesting scene (design: Dorothea Mines) masterfully applies this complexity, in addition to impressions of solitude and isolation, the water surface conveys the impression of simply deceptive safety with sudden abysses and the risk of drowning, dry leaves and rustling that are around the Scenery casts shadows from the unresolved past, as well as the manuscript pages of an unfinished story that Anna Spiegel threw into the water.

In this setting, the story between the psychiatrist and his supposedly young patient, author of the children’s book Anna Spiegel, unfolds at breakneck speed from the first moment. The doctor, who initially appears cold and careless and who no longer practices after the disappearance of his daughter, allows himself to be drawn into a confusing vortex of partial information, hopes, new riddles and horror scenarios by his counterpart, almost against his desire. in which he tells the true story of his daughter, and finally believes that she knows himself – and at the same time increasingly confronts his ego.

show down over time

Ralph Hönicke and Svenja Wasser stage the whole spectrum of feelings and emotional tensions between the unequal couple in a nuanced and appealing way. In the many roles of Victor Larenz’s medical colleagues, but also of private detective Kai Strathmann and island mayor Patrick Halberstaedt, Martin Bringmann acts selectively and is indispensable to the charming plot – appearing occasionally as a friend, supporter and explanatory, but then again as a confounder, which draws the ground of logic, time, and space from under Larenz’s feet. Until fiction becomes reality and reality dissolves into delusion, after which the incomprehensible truth appears.

In the show’s final titles, a showdown over time, the three protagonists finally turn into narrators who cautiously discover current events in the style of newspaper reports. In this production “Therapy” becomes a stunning miniature of subtle horror, further enhanced by the economical but impressive musical concept of Thomas Elben and the dramaturgy of Angelika Zwack.

The show, which was cut to an hour in Bad Vilbel – which could easily be extended to almost double conventional production – requires full concentration from both performers and the public, but in this form does not tolerate a single break. The thrilling evening was hailed by viewers with much applause.

Tickets for other performances are available at the box office, can be obtained by phone at 06101/559455, or by email at tickets@bad-vilbel.de. The festival schedule is available online at www.kultur-bad-vilbel.de.

Leave a Comment