By Samuel Beckett

Directed by Kay Voges


October 24, 2023, 20:00

October 25, 2023, 20:00

October 26, 2023, 16:00

WHERE: Studio Theatre of the Grand Theatre

Duration: 90 minutes (without intermission)

Performed in German, with Chinese and English subtitles


"Kay Voges' textually rigorously thinned out production is quite entertaining, with dry punchlines and well-dosed slapstick. (...) As grotesque clowns, Frank Genser and Uwe Schmieder shine in agonizing symbiosis."

Ute Baumhackl, Kleine Zeitung

"The 90-minute performance has its best moments when the actors are completely focused on themselves and their text; the lanky Genser and the wheelchair-bound Schmieder here are a congenial comedic duo (...)."

Petra Paterno, Wiener Zeitung

"What makes the play special, besides the great acting, is above all the soundscape: From the footsteps to the weird laughter and the dropping of objects that seem to dissolve clattering in a sea of shards every time, the play is amplified by live sound from beginning to end, down to the second. (...) Change is impossible in this brilliantly intense play about two in a world on the brink."

Ines Garherr, APA

"Kay Voges' production has not aged even after almost ten years: Beckett's text is refreshed, yet seemingly for the ages, slapstick has its justification here and amuses at least part of the audience fiercely, and the soundscape is meaningful. The great achievement of the evening, however, is that of Frank Genser and Uwe Schmieder, who have visibly completely internalized this piece."

Susanne Dressler, Schick Magazine

About Endspiel (Endgame)

A clownish duo stuck in time: Hamm bosses his servant Clov around. Again and again, Clov announces his final farewell–only to end up staying. Some catastrophe has taken place outside; inside the two witty characters are stunned by the meaninglessness of their existence.

Between 1954 and 1956, shortly after the great success with Waiting for Godot, Irish playwright Samuel Beckett, who later won the Nobel Prize in Literature, wrote his grandiose Endspiel, by now famous as a classic of the Theatre of the Absurd. The grotesquely tragic story of a world without beginning or end cemented Beckett's reputation as a pioneer of the joyful exploration of ritual, repetition and circulation, the play covering nothing less than the incomprehensibility of human existence–this absurd condition of living in the knowledge that it can be over at any time.

Kay Voges' Endspiel production examines Beckett's razor-sharp poetic repetitions in a space of opposing tensions: the loud and the quiet, brightness and darkness, with two people battling their fate. The Self between infinity and finiteness, caught in an eternal cycle: Is there anything to understand at all–or just a lot to experience?


Playwright: Samuel Beckett

Director: Kay Voges


Frank Genser as Clov

Uwe Schmieder as Hamm

German Translator: Elmar Tophoven

Stage Design: Michael Sieberock-Serafimowitsch

Costume Design: Mona Ulrich

Lighting Design: Nikolaus Langer

Sound Design: Mario Simon

Live-Sound: Sebastian Hartl

Dramaturgy: Dirk Baumann, Anne-Kathrin Schulz

Chinese Subtitle Translation: Wang Yukuan

The project would like to express its special thanks to Ms. Chen Ping for his assistance.

About Kay Voges

Since 2020, Kay Voges has been the Artistic Director of the Volkstheater in Vienna, Austria. From 2010 to 2020, he was the Artistic Director of Schauspiel Dortmund, Germany.

Under Voges' leadership, both Volkstheater (2022) and Schauspiel Dortmund (2015, 2016, 2017) were voted the second-best German-language theatre of the year in the renowned magazine, Theater heute. Welt am Sonntag awarded Schauspiel Dortmund the best theatre in the German province NRW in 2016, 2017 and 2018. In 2022, Volkstheater was invited with two productions to the prestigious German Theatrefestival Berlin and won four "Nestroys", Austria's most important theatre award.

Since 1998, Voges has been working as a director for drama and opera in Austria and Germany–at Volkstheater, in Dortmund, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Dresden, Stuttgart, the Berliner Ensemble, the Volksbühne Berlin and at Opera Houses Dortmund and Hanover. He is the founding director of the Academy for Theatre and Digitality.

Voges has received various awards for his directing work–The Borderline Procession was chosen for Theatrefestival Berlin 2017, Nora/Ghosts and Der Theatermacher for NRW Theatrefestival (2012/2019), where his 2013 A Few Messages to Space won the main award–followed by accolades at Artodocs International Film Festival St. Petersburg and Sunset Film Festival Los Angeles.

About Volkstheater

The Volkstheater in Vienna, Austria, is an ensemble theatre. The programme features contemporary drama, modern interpretations of classical texts, visual arts, renowned guest performances and concerts.

Built by architects Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer, it was opened in 1889. The Volkstheater is today, with its 830 seats, one of the largest theaters in the German-speaking world. After a general renovation, the Volkstheater opened in May 2021 as the most modern theater in Austria, under the new artistic leadership of Kay Voges.

Since its founding, the Volkstheater has seen itself as a stage for stories and expressions of non-aristocratic origin. The stories on stage came and still come from the middle of society. The Volkstheater sees itself as a place for the people of Vienna, featuring contemporary theatre, performances that cross borders, and visual arts and digitality. Lectures and discussion events with the visitors expand the program, making the Volkstheater a space for debates of the present.

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