© Michael Cooper

The man I Love

Manfred Karge

The story is true: In the dark years of the depression before world war two, a young, jobless frenchwoman, in order to survive, decides to assume the identity of her late husband. Colleagues, soldiers, other women—all are taken in by her act for years and years. But keeping up such an artifice for such a long time takes its toll…


Suppressing her past, denying her body and her voice. Ill-defined and divided, ella—now german in Manfred Karge’s play—raises troubling issues of identity and alienation. Her life parallels the rise of naziism and the slow reconstruction of a shattered nation, distilling the atmosphere of the country at the heart of the tragedy at a critical turning point in history. Inhabited by a pure snow white, for innocence, and a bitter Faust, for lucidity, her multiple existence hovers between poetry, cabaret, song, monologue, tenderness and buffoonery. An actress, alone amidst her accessories, plays out this modern fairy tale with anxious laughter, in the vein of Beckett’s Philosopher’s Clown.


Written and directed by Manfred Karge English translation Lore Brunner