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Premiered on 5th March 2022 at Schauspielhaus Hamburg, Germany

Based on the book Combats et métamorphoses d'une femme by Edouard Louis

Directed by Falk Richter

Die Freiheit einer Frau

The social class is back. But before this nostalgic term was brought back to Germany, French intellectuals and sociologists such as Édouard Louis, Didier Eribon and Geoffroy de Lagasnerie rediscovered the class phenomenon. Already in his debut novel The End of Eddy, Édouard Louis, who grew up in a working-class milieu in the French provinces, tells of everyday violence, social injustice and exclusion based on his own life story.

With his book Die Freiheit einer Frau (Combats et métamorphose d'une femme), Louis gives a voice to his mother, Monique Bellegueule, who grew up in precarious circumstances without a higher education and trapped in marriages with violent and alcoholic men. He traces her life story up to the present day while at the same time, reflecting on his emotionally distanced relationship with his mother. And so it is not just his mother who undergoes a metamorphosis, he does too, which gradually allows them to get closer again. When she finally leaves her second husband, she leaves her village and moves to Paris. The son, meanwhile socially advanced and part of intellectual life in France, admires that she has the strength and energy to change and finally lead the self-determined life she had secretly longed for. What counts in the end is the courage to start a different life, despite the socio-political difficulties, despite the social class.

Directed by Falk Richter
Set design by Katrin Hoffmann
Costume design by Andy Besuch
Music by Daniel Freitag

Live Music by Bernadette La Hengst
Video by Sébastien Dupouey & Jonas Link
Light design by Annette ter Meulen
Dramaturgy by Beate Heine

Assistant Directing by Henry Oehlert & Nadja Mattioli

Production Assistance by Lena Anna Castrup

Assistant Costume design by Barbara Kiss


Paul Behren as Edouard Louis

Josefine Israel as Mother (past)

Eva Mattes as Mother (present)

Christoph Jöde as Father & Clown

Eva Maria Nikolaus as Angelique, Clown & Sabrina

Live Musicians

Peta Devlin

Bärbel Schwarz

Bernadette La Hengst

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