by Heinrich von Kleist

Currently no Performances

Großes Haus
1 hr 30 min
no break

“We destroy that which we love”, is how writer Christa Wolf encapsulated the theme of Kleist’s Penthesilea. In a world of war, grounded in violence, the Amazon queen Penthesilea and the Greek commander Achilles collide like two celestial bodies and nearly burn up in their fatally boundless love. The law demands that the Amazons must find and vanquish their mates on the battle-field. But war hero Achilles has never lost in combat. He challenges Penthesilea to a duel, which he enters unarmed, to surrender as the vanquished. Misconstruing this admission of love, the Amazon slays him in a passion of murderous ecstasy. Michael Thalheimer has staged Kleist’s masterpiece of language in a version reduced to only three persons.  

Casts & Staff

as Penthesilea
as Achilles

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Heinrich von Kleist


“A capital evening of theatre.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

“Both precise in language and powerful in imagery.”