The play tells the story of two couples that meet for an apartment exchange. Hannah will spend some time in Zurich to teach Zen classes to stressed-out bank managers. Her boyfriend Sebastian is supposed to accompany her.
During that time Roman, a computer scientist, is moving into their apartment; his professional interest is to observe a satellite being launched into outer space.
He has no idea yet that he has been laid off by the Swiss company he has been working for. Only his wife Magdalena knows, but she keeps quiet about it for now.
Roman’s ignorance is but one of the points of conflict around which the characters in Rinke’s play revolve.
Sebastian, a gloomy cultural historian, is very anxious about an imminent change of location: he is researching “high-minded societies” and comes up against all the complications of the modern mobile world where, with the right password or pin code, you can access everything, except your own self.
He immediately recognizes Roman, who is fanatic about technology and efficiency, as his archenemy. Magdalena on the other hand shares Sebastian’s feeling of unsettledness and feels almost magically seduced by his melancholia.
And so smoldering relationship problems burst open, escalating into a battle of cultures, which even leads to the discharge of a loaded gun.
Rinke’s first play “The Gray Angel” was published in 1995 and premiered the following year at the Schauspielhaus Zurich.
His play “Republic Vineta” was voted the best German-language play in 2001 and filmed in 2006.
Rinke wrote “Die Nibelungen” for the Nibelungen Festival in Worms as a timely new version of the Nibelungenlied, which was performed there in front of the south portal of the cathedral in 2002 and 2003 and in another new version, which was performed in two parts in 2006, 2007 and 2008 in front of the north portal.