Charles Baudelaire: Poems in Prose

Poster of the play Spleen, by Figurentheater Wilde & Vogel, Leipzig (artwork Robert Voss).
Spleen – artwork Robert Voss

Which one of us, in his moments of ambition, has not dreamed of the miracle of a poetic prose, musical, without rhythm and without rhyme, supple enough and rugged enough to adapt itself to the lyrical impulses of the soul, the undulations of reverie, the jibes of conscience?
It was, above all, out of my exploration of huge cities, out of the medley of their innumerable interrelations, that this haunting ideal was born.
Charles Baudelaire, Preface to Paris Spleen, 1869


Spleen is a kaleidoscope of pictures, so songs and miniatures, inspired by Charles Baudelaire’s collection of poems in prose Le Spleen de Paris, which was published posthumously in 1869. Mankind on the threshold to modernity is described in the scenes played out between thirst for life and longing for death, between a romantic search for infinity and a brutal triviality.

The play is open in this production: the performers are on the stage with puppets and musical instruments, Baudelaire’s texts spoken by children and recorded on tape. The magic of this kaleidoscope develops in the imagination between actors, material and audience: A sequence of pictures and live-music, that wants to counterpoint Baudelaire’s vision of the world and open it for an understanding from the present.

Directed by: Hendrik Mannes
Performance & puppets: Michael Vogel
Live-music: Charlotte Wilde
Voices: Charlie Bunn, Hannah Ravalda, Catherine, Emily, Eve and Lawrence Smith

Figurentheater Wilde & Vogel in Coproduction with
FITZ! Zentrum für Figurentheater Stuttgart and Lindenfels Westflügel Leipzig.

Premiere: 21. September 2006 Lindenfels Westflügel Leipzig.

Financially supported by the Cultural Ministeries of Stuttgart, Leipzig and Baden-Württemberg and the Foundation of the Württembergische Hypothekenbank for Arts and Sciences.

Award for an Exceptional Artistic Achievement at the Stuttgart Theatre Prize 07.
Grand Prix and Young Critics Award at the International Festival of Puppetry Art, Bielsko-Biała (PL) 2008.
Grand Prix and two special awards at the International Festival of Puppet Theatre Warsaw (PL) 2009.
Award for the best music at Festival “Spotkanie” at Teatr Baj Pomorski Torun (PL) 2009.

(photos Erich Malter, Helmuth Pogerth, Jaana Jur, Richard Termine)

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