Paradise Locked

Centre Dramatique National, Orléans, France, 1996
Author: Heinrich von Kleist
Directed by Stéphane Braunschweig

about the production

Paradise Locked / Paradis vérouillé is based on two works by Heinrich von Kleist (1777 – 1811) – the essays About the Puppet Theatre and the dramas Penthesilea (1808). Part One is a pilgrimage of a lonely person between two extremes, one of which is a marionette and the other one is God. It is seeking innocence and, at the same time, meeting expectations from theatre – to be a 'journey around the world" while searching for paradise, the source which spotlights reality. And then three women come in Part Two to narrate the ambiguity of longing. Being rent and chaotic, just because they know either too much or too little, attracted and running a fever of light, and burnt by light, because they noticed it, but too late.

"Paradise is locked and the Cherub is far behind us: thus we must go on a journey around the world in order to find out whether somewhere, on the other side, it might be open."


directed by Stéphane Braunschweig
translation: Eloi Recoing, Ruth Orthmann
music: Gualtiero Dazzi
lighting: Marion Hewlett
costumes: Bettina Walter
assistant director: Georges Gagneré
cast: Jean-Marc Eder, Flore Lefěbre des Noëttes, Alexandra Scicluna, Lisa Erběs (cello)


Stéphane Braunschweig, after he graduated from studies of philosophy, began to work with l'École du Théâtre National in Chaillot, headed by Antoine Vitez, and later he established Ie Théâtre – Machine ensemble.
Stage productions: 1991 – Abominable Snowmen, Biichner's trilogy Woyzeck, Brechťs Drums In the Night, von Horvath's Don Juan Is Coming Back From the War (awarded the Prize for Theatrical Discovery from The Critics' Association), and Ajay by Sophocles. 1992 – The Cherry Orchard. 1993 – Doctor Faust by Th. Mann and Shakespeare's A Winter Night’s Tale. 1994 – Kleist’s Amphitryon. 1995 – Paradise Locked / Paradis vérouillé by H. von Kleist, and Wedekinďs Franziska in the theatre Odeon – Théâtre de l'Europe. He is preparing a December 1996 premiére of Peer Gynt by Ibsen. Braunschweig also works in opera – as a director, he worked on pieces by Fénélon, Bartók, Beethoven, Dazzi, Janáček.