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  • War with the Newts: Semi-aquatic climate satire

Stage review

War with the Newts: Semi-aquatic climate satire

★ ★ ★ Der Kreig mit den Molchen (War with the Newts) is a prescient satire of modern times.

The newts are discovered in a ball pit. Photo: Gianmarco Bresadola

Karel Čapek’s adapted 1936 satirical novel War with the Newts serves as an important warning about sacrificing the climate for greed. As the play begins, we witness the discovery of newts in a ball pool. The six actors on stage play all of the characters, switching between scientists, newts and supporting roles.

Bastian Reiber, who began as a scientist, is fantastic as a newt, using a strange foreign dialect, and a winking spasm to portray these the semiaquatic creatures who have been allowed to live among humans for decades as their slaves.

As a result, the newts are hardly integrated, and eventually rise up against their human masters. After humans have converted most of the land to water to make space for the newt-slaves, the newts rise up to conquer the world. Reiber becomes a super radio DJ, switching between switching between voices, tempos and taking the piss out of philosopher Sloterdijk, all before the rest of the humans are swallowed in one of the best play endings you’re likely to see all year.

  • Schaubühne, Charlottenburg (In German) Jul 6-10, D: Clara Weyde, 120 Minutes ★ ★ ★