Please, please watch this.
Today through Thursday the Berliner Ensemble Website is streaming the 1957 production of Mother Courage starring Helene Weigel in the title role. This is the most famous production of perhaps the finest play of the 20th century. It is on until 6PM New York time Thursday, the 21st.
Watch it and you will be able to say, “I may not have seen Weigel’s Mother Courage live, but I did see a very clear compelling shadow of what it was like.”
From the BE website
Stay at home – BE at home: While the doors of the Berlin ensemble must remain closed to our audience, we provide you with a recording of a repertoire or historically significant staging as an online stream once a week. The stream of the week is always available from Friday, 6 p.m. and then for a week.
We are very pleased that we can now show you, in collaboration with the Bertolt Brecht Archive of the Academy of the Arts, a recording of Bertolt Brechts and Erich Engels’ staging of “Mother Courage and Her Children” with Helene Weigel from 1957 (German audio only!). We can now make this staging, which is important in terms of theater history, accessible to a larger audience for the first time and thank the Bertolt Brecht heirs and Suhrkamp Verlag for this. The stream is available free of charge until midnight on May 21, 2020 at “BE at home”.
From May 22, 2020, 6:00 p.m., we will show a recording of Heiner Müller’s “Macbeth” in a production by Michael Thalheimer (with English Subtitles!).
It isn’t subtitled, but the acting is so physically specific that it has all the clarity of a Buster Keaton silent comedy. (While you’re at it take a look at The General to see what I mean.)
She couldn’t afford to be frightened:
The war kept her family fed.
From five children’s songs, Bertolt Brecht 1950. Translated by Tony Kushner.
And if that isn’t a story ripped from today’s headlines….