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“Rosa Luxemburg Kabarett” tells stirring story of revolutionary leftist killed by the Germans
“Rosa Luxemburg Kabarett.”
Written and directed by Viviane Théophilidès,
Théatre des Carmes, Avignon Theater Festival OFF, Avignon, July 6 to 25, 2018.
Reviewed by Lucy Komisar.
Sophie de La Rochefoucauld as Rosa.
“Rosa Luxemburg Karabett” is an historical play with music about the life of the Russian
revolutionary who became an activist in German politics, opposed WWI, was imprisoned and, after the war, was murdered. The production at the Avignon Theater Festival OFF reflects the tradition of the German political cabaret.
It establishes the almost forgotten heroism of the woman assassinated at age 27, because she opposed the German Social Democrats’ betrayal of worker internationalism when 90 years ago they voted war credits for the military to fight the British and the Americans.
Luxemburg was a born a Jew in Poland, which would be occupied by the Germans, and she moved there to join the workers’ movement. She was an intellectual as well as a fearless political fighter. She is portrayed by Sophie de La Rochefoucauld, who captures her cool commitment
and radical passion.
She sets out her political ideas: that the party had to conquer political power, that it must not confuse the final goal and daily struggle, that socialism must go to the final goal.
She believed that capitalism leads to necessary exploitation and protested against reformists such as Eduard Bernstein and Karl Kautsky, Social Democratic moderates.
The play, written and directed by Viviane Théophilidès, is an accurate and often stirring
depiction of the history and ideas of the left of the times. The theatrical Rosa is played by Sophie de La Rochefoucauld, and her songs are presented by Anna Kupfer.
We see her impassioned anti-war public speeches against that would land her in prison. Then when the war was over, she would be targeted and murdered in 1919 along with a comrade, Karl Liebnicht. She left the promise, “I will return and I will be millions.” In fact, her courage and her ideas were so important, that 100 years later she is still an icon of the radical left.
This excellent play, in French, is worthy of translation to reach a wider audience interested in the development of the world’s anti-war movements.
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