Brecht's anti-war satirical poem The Legend of the Dead Soldier caused a scandal when it was first published in 1920s Germany. Taking the poem as a starting point, the company presents an epic clown show that satirizes a country's addiction to heroism and moral righteousness. "Our Hero", an ordinary foot soldier, is chosen by the Kaiser to represent all that is good and brave about the war effort. Unfortunately he is killed as soon as he arrives at the front. Annoyed, the Kaiser orders a secret directive that his body be disinterred, and that his corpse should continue to be the heroic figurehead the nation needs. Nobody must know that he is dead.
As the plot thickens and the Dead Soldier becomes increasingly famous, nobody escapes Brecht's satirical wit. The media, the military, the politicians, and the people all are guilty, in his opinion, of putting their faith in the myth of combat, instead of reality. David Bridel's theatre-piece brings clown, satire, buffoonery and gleeful mischief to Brecht's original, making none-too-subtle connections between a Great Power of 1914 and a Great Power of 2003, both intent on portraying their military intentions in the noblest possible light.
Appropriate for children ages 10 and up.
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