Renaissance Theatre will present the literary performance “In Exile – Joseph Roth” by and with actor Ben Becker from 12 May 2023. Not only the experience of artistic isolation during the pandemic, but also the threatening political climate in Europe of our days are reason enough for Ben Becker to focus on the brilliant writer Joseph Roth.
Fig. above: BEN BECKER IM EXIL, Photo Kerstin Groh
After his programme BEN BECKER – APOKALYPSE, in which he used Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” to explore the isolation of the individual in the face of the human abyss, Ben Becker now devotes himself to the legendary exiled author Joseph Roth, who combines so many contradictions: holy drunkard and hopeless scrounger, Austrian Jew and bohemian figure of Berlin nightlife, burnt-out exile and one of the greatest storytellers of the 20th century. The focus is not only on the unique author, but above all on the human being Joseph Roth, who finds himself defencelessly at the mercy of the political catastrophes of his time.
The legend of the holy drunkard
In the first part of the evening, Ben Becker reads Joseph Roth in the original sound and gives voice to the unforgettable key narrative “The Legend of the Holy Drinker”, an abysmal as well as touching story from Roth’s last years in exile in Paris.
In the second half, he approaches him through the friendly account of the contemporary: Géza von Cziffra draws a lifelike portrait of Joseph Roth in his memoir “Der heilige Trinker” (The Holy Drinker), both against the backdrop of their drunken Berlin nights together and in the torrent of exile. In bringing together their lines of flight, both parts result in a startling, multi-layered and vivid portrait of the artist in exile that also reflects the present day in a surprising and frightening way.
Premiere: Friday, 12 May 2023, 7:30 pm
Further play dates:
Saturday, 13 May 2023, 7:30 pm
Sunday, 14 May 2023, 6:00 pm
Tuesday, 16 May 2023, 7:30 pm
Wednesday, 17 May 2023, 7:30 pm
Thursday, 18 May 2023, 7:30 pm