Sona MacDonald & Johannes Krisch

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May 2021
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The two chamber actors Sona MacDonald and Johannes Krisch on the trail of the eccentric writer, his wife Martha Gellhorn and his epistolary mistress Marlene Dietrich.


She plays great women with breaking points like no other: Sona MacDonald, star of Josefstadt, resurrected legends like Billie Holiday, Lotte Lenya and Marlene Dietrich. He is a specialist for strong characters in film, most recently in the best-selling adaptation of "Der Trafikant", and one of the most intense performers of the Burgtheater and currently of the Theater in der Josefstadt: Johannes Krisch. Both artists have known each other since their first steps on stage, but this production of "Hem and the Women", which premiered at the "Schwimmender Salon", is their first time in front of an audience together. Dietrich had a largely unknown, very intense relationship with Hemingway, which lasted until Hemingway's suicide. "Hemingway and Marlene were very much alike," says Sona MacDonald, "both world-famous, but deeply insecure people at the bottom of their hearts." Johannes Krisch was shaken by Hemingway's biography: "The fact that such a giant was exposed to such mental pain and fear of failure touched me deeply when I was working on the text." "Two specialists in passion and great emotions have found each other here, who are of course tailor-made for the life stories of Hemingway, Martha Gellhorn, Hemingway's third wife, but who was above all a fantastic reporter and author, and Marlene Dietrich," says author Angelika Hager, who dramaturgically arranged the reading. Christian Frank, arranger and congenial stage partner of Sona MacDonald, was musically responsible for "Lenya Story" and "Blue Moon" at the Theater in der Josefstadt and on tour. He creates the musical side and accompanies the artist on the grand piano. With Hemingway's Love Hells, Johannes Krisch, Sona MacDonald and Christian Frank open glimpses into a world in which war and love, passion and hate, but also deep despair lie close together. An explosive event with three exceptional artists.


And look forward to Dietrich's songs, which Sona MacDonald sublimely weaves into the evening.

Program and cast

Reading: Johannes Krisch, Sona McDonald


On the piano: Christian Frank


Dramaturgy and text editing: Angelika Hager

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