The Unscrupulous Murderer Hasse Karlsson ... 11+
by Henning Mankell
Hasse Karlsson is thirteen years old and lives in a small secluded village in Sweden. It is winter and it is cold and dark. The world here is manageable. Hasse knows everything and every-one. But then Schwalbe appears. He is the same age as Hasse, but apart from that their worlds are miles apart. Schwalbe is the son of the forester. He owns snow boots and lives in a house with seven rooms. Hasse, on the other hand, lives a life at the lower end of society. He sells rat traps and sneaks into the cinema without paying. But Schwalbe was not only born into anoth-er environment, he is essentially different: a radical who is unscrupulous, who can be hot and cold at the same time. One can immediately sense that Schwalbe has already looked evil in the eye. This is even more fascinating in contrast to an otherwise uneventful life. The two boys form a sinister bond. "We will spread horrors!", is how Schwalbe conspiratorially describes their alliance. And horror does follow. Nothing they do is harmless. Initially their deeds remain without consequences, but they are inspired by such depths of hatred that one suspects that worse is to come. Their last joint act will stay with Hasse for the remainder of his lifetime.
Henning Mankell's drama is the story of an unscrupulous seducer and a murderer with a big conscience. "Why do you do things that you don't want to do?" Hasse wonders but cannot answer. Mankell does not relieve him. We get to see how great the fascination with violence and difference is and how fear leads to acting against oneself. Mankell created a piece about seduction, the possibility to take decisions, and the struggle of living with the consequences of taking the wrong turn.
Isabel Osthues directs »Der gewissenlose Mörder Hasse Karlsson …« [The Unscrupulous Murderer Hasse Karlsson]. She has previously worked at the Staatstheater Wiesbaden, the Thalia Theater Hamburg and the Hans Otto Theater Potsdam.