Karl Marx: Capital, Volume One

By Helgard Haug / Daniel Wetzel

There are 751 pages between the first and the last sentence – between: "The wealth of those societies in which the capitalist mode of production prevails, presents itself as ?an immense accumulation of commodities,? its unit being a single commodity." – and: "The only thing that interests us is the secret discovered in the new world by the Political Economy of the old world, and proclaimed on the housetops: that the capitalist mode of production and accumulation, and therefore capitalist private property, have for their fundamental condition the annihilation of self-earned private property; in other words, the expropriation of the labourer."
But what is written in-between? Who has read it? How often, under which circumstances and why?The great analysis of Karl Marx occupies a prominent place among the canon of such books that are familiar to everyone, but which have been really read only by few.

Helgard Haug and Daniel Wetzel consider it as a dramatic text, whose mysteries can only be unlocked with the help of eight people who have lived with, in and for this work. It’s neither about a swan song, nor about pure theory on stage. With this book at hand, it’s not at all about how the directors read it, but about those people wo have actually read it at all, not so much about what is inside it, but where in the society it can be found, whoever uses and knows it, no matter which political affiliation and economic practice. No other book has influenced economic theory and political reality to the same extent as Marx’ opus magnum of scientific socialism. No other book is so thorough in its analysis of the rules of the market when it comes to working processes and creation of value – hence it is an analysis of the product "man", too: While turbo-capitalism flourishes in the People’s Republic of China, while Fidel Castro makes a tired appearance in his Adidas-training-clothes in front of international cameras, self-organized Marx reading circles gather again in Western Europe, and the house where he was born in Trier is pleased about the visitors’ influx and the fact that the Karl-Marx-red-wine sells so well.

For "DAS KAPITAL" Haug/Wetzel were in search of people to whom the First Part of Karl Marx’ unifinished opus magnum meant something, for whichever reason. These performers playing themselves confront this difficult text with their humour and their biographies, they integrate them, they break away from theory and go straight to the plot, and be it "only" on stage.

by: Helgard Haug, Daniel Wetzel
with: Christian Spremberg (Call Center Agent), Thomas Kuczynski (Statistiker und Wirtschaftshistoriker, Editor), Talivaldis Margevics (Historiker und Filmemacher, Riga), Franziska Zwerg (Übersetzerin), Jochen Noth (Unternehmensberater, Dozent Schwerpunkt China und Asien), Ralph Warnholz (Elektroniker im Öffentlichen Raum, ehemaliger Spieler), Ulf Mailänder (Autor und Coach in der Rolle von Jürgen Harksen, Anlageberater), Sascha Warnecke (Revolutionär, Azubi Medienkaufmann)

Stage: Helgard Haug, Daniel Wetzel in cooperation with Daniel T. Schultze

Dramaturgie: Andrea Schwieter, Imanuel Schipper
Production: Schauspielhaus Düsseldorf
Koproduction: Schauspielhaus Zürich, schauspielfrankfurt, Hebbel am Ufer Berlin

Premiere: Schauspielhaus Düsseldorf, 4. November 2006

Awarded with Mülheimer Dramatikerpreis 2007