A Momentary Kingdom

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Poetic Drama
Subject:
Art
Politics and Government

Text in:

he

 Momentary Kingdom
is a play about the life in exile of the German-Jewish poet Heinrich Heine.
From the time he began writing he was persecuted by the
King
of Prussia for his criticism of the Prussian regime. In 1831 he
was forced to flee
Germany
and find refuge in
Paris.
The
King of Prussia continued with his
attempts to gag him by banning all his books, prohibiting German publishers to
publish and sell his works, and forcing newspapers to reject his articles.
Despite all this Heine continued to write poetry and prose in which he
criticized the king, his government, the clergy, and also writers and
intellectuals who took no part in the struggle for freedom and democracy in
Germany. Heine
led the struggle against the kings of
Prussia until his last breath. He
died in
Paris
in 1856.

While the play deals with a
historical character in a historical context, it is not a historical play. It
explores the power of the writer in a modern world to change the political
reality by creating a public discourse on the values of the political regime.
It explores the personal sacrifice that radical writers must make for
expressing their demand for changes in the political climate. It also explores
the effect of the writer’s political convictions on his own life and on the
aesthetics of his own writing. 

The characters

Female: 5 Male: 8 Total: 13

 The
Characters
:

Heinrich
Heine
, a German émigré poet (34)

Ludwig
Beckerman
, a German émigré writer and journalist
(45)

Mathilde,
Heine’s wife (19)

Aunty Julie,
Mathilde’s aunt (60)

Princess
Marie Barth
élémy, who has a salon
(40)

Alfred
Mathieu
, secretary of L’Académie
francaise, Marie’s suitor and later her husband (45)

Paolo,
Marie’s servant (35)

Wolfgang
Strauss
, a German émigré (35)

Jeanette,
Strauss’s wife and Beckerman’s lover (42)

Brauner,
a German émigré poet (38)

Glück, a German émigré and Brauner’s friend (44)

Lottchen, a German waitress (30)

Gretchen, a German waitress (28)

Albert, a Parisian gendarme (50)

Camilla Selden, a young German woman and
admirer of Heine (25, in Act Two)

King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia, (60, in Act One)

King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia, (50, in Act Two)

Baron Cotta, owner of the newspaper for
which Heine writes (50)

Julius Campe, Heine’s publisher (39)

Friedrich Hoffmann, the Censor (41)

Street musicians, policemen,
officers, border guards, etc.

The majority of the actors play several parts and the company can include 13 actors and actresses

Translations

English

Productions

Not performed yet

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