Fabian or Going to the Dogs

by Erich Kästner
in German with English surtitles
Sat – 19. Mar 22
In Weimar Republic Berlin at the dawn of the Nazi takeover, a society defeated by the global economic crisis lives for its city’s intoxicating nights, partying itself half to death. Dr Jakob Fabian, an unemployed thirty-two-year-old and ever the detached observer, explores the city’s brothels, artists’ studios and obscure amusement establishments. On his forays through Berlin’s nightlife, Fabian becomes embroiled in a disappointing love story. He witnesses the suicide of his friend Labude and the battle between the Communists and the National Socialists. He also turns down a position at a right-wing nationalist newspaper on moral grounds. He can’t help but wonder why, given the political climate, he fails to become “an actor in the world’s theatre”, why he remains a spectator: “I can do a great deal but don’t wish to do anything. Why should I get on? What for and what against? Let us assume for the moment that I really have some function. Where is the system in which I can exercise it? There isn’t one; nothing has any meaning.”
Erich Kästner (1899-1974), whose books were burnt by the National Socialist Party, painted a satirical social portrait of the era in his 1931 Berlin novel, Fabian. In 2013, the uncensored version was finally published, under the title Going to the Dogs. Kästner wrote of his intention in his 1950 afterword: he wanted “to warn people about the abyss into which Germany was in danger of falling and threatening to take all Europe with it.”
Stage design
Costume design
Sound design
Lighting Design
associate stage version
Julia Robert