Beware of Pity 03/11/2019

International Committee Program

Beware of Pity


Schaubühne (Berlin, Germany)
The author of the work:
Based on the novel by Stefan Zweig "Impatience heart"
2 hours. The performance runs without intermission
22 Dec 2015
German. The Russian subtitles

The production is based on Ungeduld des Herzens ("Beware of Pity"), a novel written in 1939 by Stefan Zweig. The action takes place in 1913 The protagonist of the story is Lt. Anton Hofmiller, a young cavalry officer.

The plot is centered at a fatal mistake committed by a young man that leads to moral degradation and the fight against his circumstances against the background of the public catastrophe that led to the First World War. "Beware of Pity" raises a question of what real pity is.

Hofmiller is invited to the castle of Baron von Kekesfalva. He is having an ideal evening there: Hofmiller manages to entertain the guests telling amusing anecdotes. Inebriated by his accomplishments, he invites the host’s daughter Edith for a dance. Edith is horrified. Hofmiller realizes that he has committed some kind of a faux pas, but only after the girl's cousin explains that Edith is paralyzed he does understand the extent of his offence, and so he leaves the castle. The following morning he sends flowers to Edith and she invitates him for a cup of tea.

After that, Hofmiller starts visiting the castle on a daily basis. It takes him some time to understand that the delicately natured Edith is in love with him; when he does, he asks for her hand in marriage. But as soon as she realizes that the proposal is made out of pity, her initial excitement changes for desperate fury.

This was the first show staged by Simon McBurney with the German troupe.

This show is co-produced by Schaubühne and Complicité Theatre Company.

Strobe lights are used during the performance.


Robert Beyer

Marie Burchard

Johannes Flaschberger

Christoph Gawenda

Moritz Gottwald

Laurence Laufenberg

Eva Meckbach

Simon Mcburney
James Yeatman
Anna Fleischle
Holly Waddington
Paul Anderson
Sound Engineer
Pete Malkin
Assistant Sound Engineer
Benjamin Grant
Video Design
Will Duke
Maya Zade
Adapted for the play format by
Simon McBurney, James Yeatman, Maya Zade and others