Luk Perceval has already adapted two of Hans Fallada\’s novels for the stage: ‘Kleiner Mann _ was nun?’ (‘Little Man _ What now?’) (Munich Kammerspiele, 2009) and ‘Jeder stirbt für sich allein’ (‘Every Man Dies Alone’) (Thalia, 2012).
With ‘Wer einmal aus dem Blechnapf frisst’ (‘Who once eats out of the tin bowl’) he now stages the story of Willi Kufalt, who, against his own will, becomes the person that those around him always saw: ‘A bit of excrement, a microbe, malignant, that must be destroyed.’
Willi Kufalt is scared. He has spent five years sitting in jail. Now he must leave. Will he be able to cope outside? He moves into a welfare home in Hamburg. He needs to be introduced back into society. Lousy work for a pittance. He is humiliated and mocked. Willi Kufalt needs to get out of this system of oppression. He searches for a flat, but someone like him, someone from jail, is constantly rejected. Ruthless! What to do? Willi Kufalt carries on. He gets himself on his feet, finds a small room and sets up a business. A secretarial pool with a group of former prisoners. A community of solidarity. Until it crashes and the competition strikes a brutal blow.
But Willi doesn’t give up. He becomes an advertiser for a newspaper and gets to know Hilde Harder. He wants to get married. But will he still be able to find happiness? Of course he doesn’t. His past as a prisoner is too difficult to escape. People are constantly suspicious of him. So it always seems that there’s another skeleton in his closet. His love is shattered. Willi goes downhill. He finally decides to call it quits with the system. He has a huge plan and a murderous rage. The return to jail is just a matter of time!
Kristof Van Boven
Author: Hans Fallada
Adaptation by: Christina Bellingen & Luk Perceval
Director: Luk Perceval
Scenography: Annette Kurz
Costumes: Annelies Vanlaere
Music: Hendrik Lücke
Lighting design: Paulus Vogt
Dramaturgy: Christina Bellingen
A production by thalia theater.