J. Weidenfels

Putting Zadek's Work as a Challenging Theater Director in Context
Sensuous 'Provocations' and the Struggle between 'Anything Goes' and the 'Surviving Ossified Past'

They say that very much “like Shakespeare,” Peter Zadek (a stage director, rather than a playwright) “sought to blend popular theater” with intellectual substance, or “lofty intellectual aims…”(1)  Is this an apt way of summing up his achievement? And perhaps, at the same time, a hidden or open critique? From a certain point of view, which we share, a “Shakespearean” understanding of popular theater is indeed desirable, and it is something very different from the fetishization of the spectacular, and from the imbecility inscribed in the dominant trends of ‘mass culture’ as we know it in specific forms in various Western societies today. Shakespeare did not try to “popularize;” he was down to earth and reflective at  the same time. He was himself, and at the same time a representative of a time of change. Raising problems. And showing, concretely, in the flesh, the bizarre or grotesque or comic ways of the world that England was, at his time. It certainly forbade any aesthetic strategy whereby he might have his actors talk “above the heads” (and the ability to understand) of an “ordinary” urban audience. He did raise relevant social and political problems but he did so in a sensuous way, and in a way that would incite his audience to interact, during the performance, showing approval, jeering. commenting in other ways, as the situation, the fictional one that was visible, tangible on stage, and that of England, of the "world" referred to implicitly or explicitly, must have prompted them to do. 

Today, in the Western world, the audience is condemned, very much, to passivity, at least in so far as it is expected to watch silently, refraining from loud comments, from shouted observations, from hearty or fear-stricken laughter occasionied by the humor or terror of a situation presented on stage. Exception are rare: perhaps they could be found in the performances of Nitsch or Muehl,  perhaps in some stagings of Artaud's theater of cruelty. Also, Brecht's plays, his concept and staging of a new 'epic theater' proved different; here,  the audience, is expected to get (thoughtfully, and even dialectially) involved; the same expectation is directed at the actors. Passive reception is anathema to Brechtians; but what appears to some as intellectualism, to others as a reasonable preference of rationality over emotionality, did not exactly encourage a loud and naive response by the viewer; the activity that is expected of him is to take place in his brain while he watches; it is hoped that the new questions faced, the new thoughts thought, will continue to occupy him afterwards, and it is to inform his práxis after he has left the theatre building. 

Still, Brecht learned quite a bit from Shakespeare, though transforming it in a way adequate to the specific needs of his epoch. At least this is how he himself and certain critics saw it. Brecht also appreciated vaudeville theater, and other forms of popular entertainment. They were materialist, down-to-earth, rooted in everday life, at the same time comic, humorous, sensual, sometimes grotesque.  Some of these traits, though intellectualized, abstracted, stripped down to the naked bones, so to speak, entered his plays. It would be wrong to say they are devoid of humor, of the sarcastic, the grotesque, the sensuous, of emotions. But these never gain the upper hand: they are servant maids of reason, of a quest: the quest to challenge the conventional presuppositions of an audience whose curiosity must be awakened, whose certainties must be shattered by posing problem, devising situations. Impassés, in fact, that amount to disturbing questions. Today, of course, the answers are seen as "predictable" by so many critics and especially those who have gone through years of gauchisme as students but who have turned to the right as more or less successful academics. Still, it is easy to take as predictable what is only superficially perceived. Certain impassés, certain contradictions persist in today's world, having found no rational practical answer. And the number of those kept in ignorance and made infantile on purpose is certainly on the rise, rather than receding. But this, apparently, does not concern an elitist, saturated clientele of theater-goers. If they are bored, they are bored. And they are bored easily by what has been served to them  too often, without answering their specific, subjectively perceived 'needs.'

There was a time when I thought that Zadek was not "un-influenced" by Brechtian motives though not slavishly a Brechtian aesthetics; that, in his own way, he probably attempted to move in similar direction – but did, I asked, did the historical situation, despite the leeway it offered to anyone willing to breach certain aesthetical conventions, allow him to go far enough? And how far, I asked, did he want to go? Today, perhaps, I have to admit that from the beginning he sought to conceive, to develop, to experiment with his own theater, that he had his own vision of how creative, challenging dramatic art should be.

He had, of course, to work under different circumstances; without the prospective working class or at least anti-fascist and anti-monarchist public that Brecht sought to speak to in the final years of the Weimar Republic. Or the real working-class public that the pioneer of contemporary epic theater hoped to find, and sometimes found, in the now defunct GDR. Zadek could only address, primarily, a bourgeois and petty-bourgeois public, and this during and, since 1989, in the aftermath of the Cold War. His, to my mind, most astonishing development of new forms (if not, as some would say, gimmicks and provocative outrages) occured in the early 1970s; an often leftish, but aethetically aware student public was added, by a policy of affordable tickets, to his more saturated public; for Zadek, it may have been another reason to try himself in the old game invented by dadaists, surrealists and others - the game of épater la bourgeoisie, shocking the bourgeoisie.(2) But May 1968 was only very recent history; in Germany, the government of Willy Brandt, formed by social-democrats and so-called Linksliberale (progressive or "left liberals")  had ended an era of post-war restaurative, conservative dominance; the psycho-social climate in the West German republic was changing and many younger members of the bourgeois, sick of the fascist past of their parents and grandparents, was changing with it.  So in a way the typical theater audience was divided; the older generation could still be provoked; the younger one enjoyed provocations. If the provocations had taken the form of preaching (which they didn't), Zadek would have, in a way, preached to the partly saved and the saved. 

But what were the subtexts of his choice of authors and plays, of his breaches of aesthetic and "moral" conventions, of his provocations, in short? It would be wrong to dismiss the fact that the late nineteen-sixties were the time of the hippies in California, of the spread of LSD and marijuana among the young (especially, university students), of attempted sexual revolution (symbolized by Kommune One, and more aptly, by a renewed reception of the writings of Wilhelm Reich). Even among "dogmatic left-wing students" (as they would be called by their anarcho-spontaneist friends), so-called free love, that is to say, changing sexual partners, and a very obvious concern with what was called "the emancipation of the individual" were in the forefront, overriding in practice other, more theoretical concerns (with "revolution"). I believe that Zadek was at the time a  theater director who was still deeply aware of the traumatizing Nazi genocide but also of the rigid "character armour" that was socio-psychologically prevalent among the older generation that had been deeply and often eagerly infected by Nazism. To him, and not only to him, that was a generation which continued, in the post-war era, to embrace cleanliness, intolerance, law and order, xenophobia, racism and the officially preached ideology of naive "anti-communism". Deep down in him, a fear may have existed, a fear shared by such thinkers and authors as Alfred Andersch, an 'anti-ideological' writer of the new post-WWII generation that included Boell, Grass, and others, and a man who made clear that his determination to be a political author grew from his awareness that a resurgence of fascism was not impossible.(3) The same was, more less, true of Jean Amery, who wrote  of the possibility that "the Rightists" will find again the support of the "masses."(4) 

I think that it was, in part at least, as a consequence of his fears or forebodings that Zadek was choosing his path, his tendency, his orientation as a director.(5)  In other words, my hypothesis is that through his work as a theater director, Zadek pre-consciouly or consciously tried to subvert what he must have taken to be the socio-psychological foundation of fascism, the "authoritarian character."  Insofar as he, like others, may not have been able or willing to preclude any resurgence of fascism  (albeit in a new guise) in Germany, it seems to have been paramount to him  to support and strengthen, by way of his intervention in the theater, exactly those  socio-cultural tendencies that "freed" (many people thought) the individual, including  the diverse attempts to shatter "rigid" sexual auto- and hetero-images and just as rigid sexual "mores." He could do so by borrowing from the past - the commedia dell'arte where it allowed grotesque sexual allusions; Shakespearean theater where it was still semi-medieval, and in that sense far from the Philistine "modern" inhibitions  of the petty-bourgeoisie and even the morally petty-bourgeoisified sectors of the bourgeoisie (especially the Lutheran and Calvinist ones).

Is this at the root of what his prude, conservative critics but also certain "Orthodox" Marxists branded as decadent if not obscene  at the time when reviewing the performance of plays he had chosen to stage?(6) Chosen to stage, we noticed, in a way that freely if not shockingly turned against what in Germany they call Texttreue, faithful"respect for the [unaltered, unedited] text." Was it true that as a rule, he turned against the prevailing current by again and again violating the text of dramas quite frivolous, in order to make them suit his ends and respond to the 'social need' of, above all, sexual liberation that he perceived? Or did it remain the exception? And did not other themes, other problems come into the forefront, as well?

At any rate, I have the impression that the daring breaches of theatrical conventions, the formal risks incurred by Zadek as a stage director had exactly the purpose of suggesting  that he was creating “popular theater” – theater that was not “abstractly intellectual,” not “dull” (as some might have said) and “didactic, but “thrilling” and  “speaking to the senses.” But in this way, very much like all or most other stage directors in Western societies today, he was still creating theater for a theater-going public in a Western country in the 20th century, that is to say, for a minority. As suggested already above, it was not necessarily an entirely bourgeois (and petit-bourgeois) public. But certainly a minority of people who, for diverse reasons, would attend theatrical performances.  Which, "quite naturally," the "realists" will say, leaves out (and thus fails to speak to) exactly that majority which is formed by people who never or hardly ever do. In other words, Zadek was willy-nilly creating “popular” theater that was performed not for “the people” – the “masses,” the broad spectrum of “ordinary folk” (as Shakespeare did, at least in the urban context which, at the time, provided the main audience for theater troupes), but for a small, though certainly heterogenous, part of the “people.”  Some of them might be genuinely interested in theater as an art form; others might be interested in the social event that every performance, especially when staged by a renowned ensemble and a “top-ranking” director, happens to become: a fetishized event, dearly paid for, in terms of the ticket price, the clothes perhaps bought for this special occasion, the dinner enjoyed in a (sometimes expensive) restaurant after the show is over, in order to be with people of like standing and exchange sentiments, impressions, clever or not so clever thoughts about the events. Of course such motivations might overlap or “interfere” with each other. It is clear that such theater-goers (not all of them being necessarily educated, or even “erudite”) would tend to behave, during a performance. But is also clear that booing and other signs of disagreement, of being frustrated, shocked, or scandalized belonged, as an integral part, to typical Zadek performances: the shocking visual element, the moment of scandal that would irritate the more conservative or narrow-minded among his public was seldom lacking. Yes, it is probably true: Zadek may have cherished this success which was the sucess of somebody who was ready, as I have pointed out already, to shock and “provoke the bourgeoisie.” The bourgeoisie – especially the grande bourgeoisie – of course can take a lot of visual ‘scandal’ (especially if it is sexually colored). But, if we take a specific example, no one can deny that it hardly existed in Bochum when Zadek experienced his break-through as a top-notch theater director, a daring experimenter.  So we may ask: Wasn’t it, after all, the upper middle class, the more saturated layer of the petit-bourgeoisie that reacted in the desired manner; showing a certain reaction of the voyeur, of a person who sways between eagerness to see the ‘forbidden’ and a readiness to display ‘shock’ and ‘aversion’? Of course the student public, at the time (and these were the 1970s), must have witnessed such aversion gleefully or scornfully, or perhaps, highly amused. No doubt,  in a provincial ‘center’ like Bochum, a town where the mining industry had gone down the drain and the car industry had been unable to fill the gap, where workers and the unemployed formed the majority of citizens but would hardly be found among the public seated in the Schauspielhaus, the typical public of ‘respectable’ people, on the one hand, and youthful people (mostly students and young university teachers), on the other, must have been polarized. Sufficient proof that such an aesthetic strategy occasioned a “prise de conscience” (Bewusstwerdung)? And if so, what did those Zadek "reached" by his aesthetic strategy and his choice of plays become conscious of?

At this point it may be useful to recall that for Antonio Gramsci, the “grande intellectuel’ expressed the philosophy of the dominant classes in its most refined form, high above the average thought of his times, but certainly in a way which would not aim at a fundamental change, an attempt to overthrow or replace the social order and the dominant systems of thoughts which express it and correspond to it.

To be intellectually fascinating can be part of an aesthetic credo; it can turn thoughts and thought processes presented on stage into a “culinary” aesthetic experience  but not much more. In that sense, ther intellectually intriguing might well go hand in hand with what is visually intriguing and thus, “culinary.” The intellectual challenge can, of course,  go further than that. What the playwright had to say, in addressing “his public,” and what the stage director, in cooperation with “his” ensemble,  translates into movements, gestures, words spoken, can be of major importance, both relying on and subsuming the physical presence of actors, their acting, the visual and auditory impact of it.

As I noted briefly further above, repeating a well-known fact,  Brecht aimed at insight produced in both actors and public. He aimed at the unleashing of thought processes. And the ‘entertainment’, the enjoyment or Vergnuegen produced by the performance was to be, above all, the aesthetical ‘Vergnuegen’ of comprehension effected in the mind of the viewer who was also a listener and a thinking person. His comprehension, basically, was due to his active reception of a play. And therefore, to his own thought activity.

It is significant that Zadek apparently felt more attracted to Heiner Mueller than to Brecht, and more to Shakespeare (as he saw him) than to either of them. 

The difference between Heiner Mueller, a ‘disciple’ of sorts, of Brecht, and Brecht, is obviously rooted in their different attitude towards the ‘emotional’ impact plays may have. Mueller obviously  opted for a position that relates both to Artaud and to Brecht. The sub-conscious interacts with reason; montage matters.  The (almost?)  uncontrolled surge of emotions, the violence of visual images, thrown into the imaginary world conjured up by the actors involved with a Heiner Mueller text, push aside calm reflection; they make impossible any distanced viewing; they subject the thread of reason (never, a red thread, but a muddled yarn) to the unsettling impact of word cascades and theatrical confrontations that we are expected to take as the trace of our contemporary history written with blood. The contingency, and the barbarous quality of history are what we are to “re-experience” on stage (and thus, to see, feel, and “think”, as a collective theater public). There is no pretension as to a logic or goal of history, or a privileged “subject” of historical “progress.” The idea itself, of progress, seems to have been discarded. History is a monstrous reality. And so is man? A monster? “Hell” – that’s “the Others”?

We can see here that Heiner Mueller (even though ostensibly, in his private conversations, he would show a limited “critical solidarity” with his country, the G.D.R., even in the mid-1980, shortly before its collapse) was not only clothed in black clothes – his thoughts were deeply black, his sarcasm, his scepticism full of undertones that were connected with the experience of a specific social reality. First of all, of course,  that of post-Stalinist “real socialism” (“the perversion of an old human dream”, as Robert Kramer used to say about it). But also, and ever more so, it was the dark shadow of the Cold War, of the nuclear nightmare hovering above us that turned him pessimist. And the desperation that sprang from his percerption of the slick and highly effective globalization under way which prompted him to quip that the citizens of India "would have to drink a lot of Coca Cola" before they would be fed up with the Western consumerist model and the mirage of an American way of life.(7)

Brecht had been, to a large extent, a playwright of the 1930s, of a period, that is, that had seen revolutions go on in Mexico (1910), in China (1911), in Russia (1917), that had seen revolutionary social struggles go on in Bavaria, Bremen, Berlin, in Hungary, in Torino, that was confronted with the Spanish civil war, that experienced a revolutionary upsurge in India and even more so in China, that saw other, less openly waged but still very relevant struggles going on in the U.S. and in Latin American societies. His intervention as a playwright aimed at a concrete public, at the subaltern classes. At the working class, as he was hoping to strenghten its impulse to act consciously, as a historic subject, a protagonist of a fight for a new, more just, more democratic society.

If it makes sense to speak of ‘conjunctures politiques,’ it it possible to say that (despite the rise of Fascism in Europe) Brecht has been, very largely, the playright of an ascending ‘conjuncture politique’ while Heiner Mueller has been the writer of a ‘downturn,’ of a ‘time of disillusionment’ – at least from the point of view of the hoped for  emancipation of the working class. His plays subvert, and question emancipative hopes, rather than providing calm and rational arguments for emancipative action. In that sense, they also sever the link between theatrical production and social práxis that was a central objective  which Brecht was again and again committed to turn into a factual reality.

As both aesthetic and intellectual endeavours, Mueller’s plays end up being a sophisticated entertainment for quite a different public than Brecht had in mind. Heiner Mueller, a critic of both ‘real socialism’ and globalized capitalism, ends up creating feelings of impassés; he ends up producing despair; he is not speaking for action, and if we are not content to just  feel the nightmares and dead-end alleys supposedly in front of us, we may arrive at reflection, rather than action. 
Does it situate such theater in the idealist camp, the camp of pure thought and pure aesthetic sensations, the camp that defies the unity of theory and practice so important to Brecht and others like him?

If Zadek, as a “successful” and “innovative” director, chose to be close to the position of Heiner Mueller rather than that of Brecht (who, after all, was considered “dull” where he was deemeed to be “merely didactic” and “interesting, against his very own intention, where he was above all ‘poetic’ ”), this is explained just in part by his fondness of Shakespeare – and the difference between Shakespeare at his own time and Zadek in the last quarter of the 20th century  conversely throws much light on a director whose preference for the important 17 th century English playwright did not stop him from falling short of Shakespeare's achievement. Let us not be mistaken – neither Heiner Mueller nor Peter Zadek made themselves the intellectual of a “rising class,” as Shakespeare had been in his time. Brecht, in a different way, had also referred to Shakespeare: he had “actualized” or shifted Shakespearean figures and themes into the context of 20th century capitalism, into the scenery of its struggles and contradictions. His “lax” and thus creative ways of using  “intellectual property” lead to a re-usage of Shakespearean material, for contemporary purposes, especially the purpose of shedding light on class relations (and thus, directly or indirectly,  on the class struggle). Brecht's purpose never was never to “present Shakespeare’s plays” – faithfully, as certain directors have tried to do, or by “modernizing” them and making them “appealing” to a modern public, as Zadek did. But Zadek, the director who became so well-known, for his very aptitude to shock and to let his stagings appear as obscene, was not interested, above all (or even exclusively), in aesthetics or in achieving a reputation as innovative force in the German and European theater: Not unlike Brecht, he had a goal, a purpose, a project, too. No, not the revolution. The emancipation, the freeing of the individual from old psycho-social fetters, from reactionary stereotypes, authoritarian mores. He was more optimistic, more positive toward life, the living, the future than Heiner Mueller. Perhaps of necessity. Perhaps in order to cope with and ward off the effects of a trauma, the Nazi genocide. Whether he succeeded in achieving such a (admittedly hypothetical) aim, is an open question. The "socio-culture" changed, in the late 1960s, in the 70s. The supposed "sexual revolution" took its course (towards commercialization, commodification, the trivial - and once again, the return to the prudish.) Whether consciously desired by Zadek or not, his work as a director contributed to the new, emerging "current" in West German society, strengthening it.  First of all and especially in the social layers among which Zadek found his audience. 


(1)  “Wie Shakespeare, in dessen Tradition er sich sah, suchte er populaeres Theater mit hohem intellektuellen Anspruch zu verbinden” [Like Shakespeare, in whose tradition he saw himself moving on, he tried to merge popular theater and "lofty intellectual aims"  (i.e. intellectual seriosity)] - this was the way his achievement was summed up by the obituary-like WDR 5 news that was reporting Peter Zadek’s death on July 30, 2009.

(2) To shock the bourgeoisie - this was something Zadek did from the very start, as a theater director, even when it was at first only a student ensemble performing Sweeney Agonistes by T.S. Eliot and Salomé by Oscar Wilde in the Old Vic Theater in London.. "L'actrice dansait pratiquement nue, et à cette époque, à Londres, ce n'était pas possible", racontait-il à Colette Godard pour Le Monde, en 1996." (Fabienne Darge, "Peter Zadek / Metteur e scène allemand" [obituary], in: Le Monde, 9-10 August 2009, p.17 

(3) Alfred Andersch stated his point quite clearly: "Ich moechte mit meiner Buechern Geschichte herstellen, [...] Geschichtsbewusstsein wecken [...] weil ich schon wieder die Gefahr eines neuen Faschismus sehe." [I want to produce history with my books,... consciousness of history... because I already see again the danger of a new fascism.] (Quoted in a ZeitZeichen transmission commemorating Alfred Andersch, broadcast on Feb. 21, 2010 by WDR5 - Cologne, Germany, a PBS-like public broadcasting station. Alfred Andersch expressed this fear that a new fascism was not any longer impossible in (then, of course West-) Germany in the context of the Berufsverbot policy because "society, once again, is divided in guards and guarded ones" (Waechter und Bewachte). A prophetic utterance, given the increase in control or surveillance of all activities of "private citizens" in the European Union and the U.S., today. 
Let us not shut our eyes to it.  In many respects, we witness developments that surpass almost everything that Orwell was able to foresee: a paranoid  obsession with "security" among leading military and political figures, a hysterical, yet professionally automatized effort to collect data on almost everyone, prophylactically,  including fingerprints, iris scans, DNS material, individual smells attached to items taken from persons.  In many cases (such as in the case of journalists, critical writers and artists, civil rights workers, environmentalists, leftists and all sorts of dissidents), the data collecting and screening "machinery" of the State and its diverse branches also ammasses data obtained through phone tapping and control of e-mail traffic; in international communication and when using the internet, every citizen is automatically a prophylactic target. In addition, everyone of us is subjected to more and more widespread, and soon perhaps omnipresent  video surveillance in the streets, in public buildings, in malls, supermarkets, in railway stations and airports and hotels, in buses, tram cars, and trains. Also, let us not fail to mention the tracking of changes of location by individuals based on registration of mobile phone use (its time and location) but also thanks to toll gates, license-plate scans on inter-state highways, etc. This again concerns everyone. (In the Netherlands, this latter form of tracking our movements has already been tied to the proposal to let car-driving street users pay for roa use according to the number of miles driven.) Furthermore, let us point out that parallel to their use in planes, we have begun to see the use of  black boxes in many new cars (a trend started in the U.S. and copied by car-makers in Europe, with an astonishing option of present and potential mis-use, including registration of words spoken on board, words that could be transmitted to another listener, unnoticed by the speaker). The combined effect of these measures, even though largely taken at random and without, by and large, targeting specific individuals, amount to the construction of the transparent citizen, "seen through" (or so  the technocrats will believe) by the instances of "Law and Order," by the old Leviathan, the bureaucratic, turbo-capitalistically oriented State. The internet, and the options of data collection about its users that it offers to private corporations and the State, provides perhaps the most frightening potential for the lasting destruction of a safe haven of the individual. And quickcams, attached to computers, in conjunction with broadband internet access offer Leviathan the perfect option to listen in to our conversations at home while taking pictures without having to install little microphones and mini-cameras, in the way that spies did in another, less "digital" age.

(4) Amery wrote in 1971, in the context of his critique of anarcho-spontaneist forms of protest that included stone-throwing (usually  in response to unwarranted and often rough dissolution of peaceful protests by the police, a fact ommitted by the right-wing yellow press which gleefully highlighted the 'chaotic occurrences' in its frontpages), that "the Right ... is going to wave with the scarecrow of chaos and, you can bet on it, they will find willing listeners in the democratically insufficiently educated 'masses' who care above all for quietness and order" (i.e. law and order). He added, "I cannot rid myself of my fear that some day the 'conciousness-raisers' [of the student-left] will recognize [...] that they were the ones who created the false consciousness [of the Left as a source of chaos] in the masses  which fascism  has always known how to use with superior cleverness for its own purpose." The quoted statement reads as follows,  in German: "[Es] wird die Rechte [...] mit der Vogelscheuche des Chaos winken und dabei, man verlasse sich darauf, in Deutschland das Ohr der demokratisch unzulaenglich erzogenen, nur auf Ruhe und Ordnung bedachten 'Massen' finden. Ich komme nicht los von der Befuerchtung, es werden eines Tages die [linken, studentischen, vermeintlichen] 'Bewusstseinsbildner' zur schrecklichen Erkenntnis kommen, dass sie es waren, die in den Massen jenes falsche Bewusstsein [naemlich das Bild der Linken als Verursacher oder Ausloeser des Chaos] aufgebaut haben, welches der Faschismus noch immer mit ueberlegenem Geschick seinen Zwecken dienstbar gemacht hat." - Jean Amery, "Der Identitaetsverlust der Neuen Linken" (1969), in: ibid., Widersprueche, Stuttgart Klett) 1971, p. 191.

(5) Or to put it more cooly, what was emotionally and intellectually at the root of his choice was, in all likelihood, his analysis of the course the "Bonn republic" had taken under Adenauer and Globke, under Heusinger and the secret service professionals as well as the diplomats that were serving the "new democracy" after having served already under Hitler so bravely, so efficiently. It was a course that the next head of the republic, Kiesinger, continued unashamedly, even when he was slapped, in view of his Nazi past, by Beate Klarsfeld.

(6) Comments that certain scenes or elements which were not uncharacteristic of the performances directed by Zadek were "obscene" would be uttered frequently in the early 1970s, both in private, by theater-goers who sometimes spoke of this with disgust, and of course in the provincial newspapers. Nudity on the stage was still scandalous, and to highlight it in the way Zadek might do, seemed pornographic to some. (See also footnote 2 on Zadek's early beginnings as a director in London where he employed for the first time nudity as a theatrical device.)

(7) Heiner Mueller, in a conversation in Aachen, shortly before the demise of the GDR.