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Beware of pity

mise en scène Simon McBurney


Young soldier Hofmiller is invited to Baron Kekesfalva’s castle. The soirée is a success: Hofmiller manages to entertain with one amusing anecdote after another. Inebriated by his accomplishment, he asks Edith, the host's daughter, for a dance. But Edith blanches. Hofmiller recognises he has committed a faux pas, but only when the girl's cousin explains that Edith is paralised does he comprehend the extent of his offence and flees the castle. The following morning he sends flowers and Edith retaliates with an invitation to tea. Soon, Hofmiller is a daily guest at the castle, not noticing that the mentally fragile Edith has fallen desperately in love with him. When Hofmiller understands the truth, he proposes marriage, but once Edith realises that this has only happened out of pity, her initial delight mutates into a despairing rage ...

Beware of Pity deals with the question of what is true compassion and how difficult it is sincerely to suffer vicariously with another human being. Simon McBurney is an actor, director and co-founder of legendary British theatre company Complicite. For his stage version of Beware of Pity, McBurney is working with a German theatre ensemble for the first time.

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