Centre of my World 14+
by Andreas Steinhöfel
in a version by Moritz Beichl
The centre of teenager Phil’s world is the library in “Visible”, because its books open up the whole world to him. “Visible” is his home, a crumbling fairy-tale castle surrounded by an enchanted garden and woods, on a hill, right next to a river. Everything seems magical: His young mother Glass receives countless princes, his twin sister Dianne is able to speak with animals, and Phil falls in love with mysterious Nicholas, who has invented a museum of stories. Phil doesn’t have a father, but he does have a “pirate” uncle Gable, who sails the seven seas and wants to take him along one day. The patchwork family is made complete by Phil’s best friend Kat. When they were children, they both had to have their ears pinned at the same time, and that has bound them together forever. These headstrong characters are connected by countless tales that Phil tells us, but also by secrets and mysteries. And only little by little can Phil solve them: Why does their mother insist on keeping Number 3 on her list of 50 lovers a secret, who is probably their father and whom Phil misses painfully? Why did Glass and Dianne fall out three years ago, and still don’t speak to each other? His best friend Kat: why did she have to go and fall in love with the same boy, of all people? And then there are the “Beyonders”, that’s what Phil and his family call the natives of the neighbouring town across the river, who call Phil and Dianne “the witch’s children” and Glass a “whore”. For Phil it may be normal to fall in love with a boy, but for the “Small People” it isn’t by any means….
“Be strong and defend yourselves. If somebody hurts you, hurt them double or get out of their way, but never let others tell you how to live. I love you the way you are.”
Andreas Steinhöfel is a writer who has won many awards. With “Centre of My World” he delivered a book for young adults that has achieved cult status, has been made into a film, and is read in many schools. In a magical-realist style and by creating a multi-layered story cosmos, he hauntingly and liberatingly tells the tale of a boy’s coming of age, which even made it onto the Spiegel’s bestseller list. At the same time, the book is a compelling plea for a more accepting and tolerant society. The book was adapted for the stage by Moritz Bleich, who won Vienna’s Nestroy Theatre Prize in the “Young Talent” category and has successfully directed Hermann Hesse’s “Demian” at the Junges SchauSpielHaus.