Die Unerhörten

Brandhaarden 2023

Die Unerhörten

Residenztheater (München) / Elsa-Sophie Jach


Sorry, there are currently no available shows.
Die Unerhörten
Residenztheater (München) / Elsa-Sophie Jach

Director Elsa-Sophie Jach brings the outrageous love poetry of Sappho: 'Europe’s first female poet' to new life. Known for a directing style characterised by precise language and strong visuals, she hunts down the forgotten remains of Sappho’s poems, condenses them into a chorus and, on a tour through the literary canon together with the Munich techno live band SLATEC, she exposes the systematic erasure of the female voice, its silencing and the need for it to empower itself.

Festival Brandhaarden
Duration 130 minuten
Genre Theater
Language German
Surtitles Dutch & English

This production uses stroboscopic lighting effects

Die Unerhörten (The Outrageous Ones)

Technoid love letters for ancient heroines after Sappho, Ovid, Euripides et al.

"Maybe if we still had all of Sappho’s poems, no one would talk about Homer any more", Friedrich Schlegel once wrote about Sappho, the leading female poet of the ancient world. Barely two hundred fragments survive from her collected works that comprised some twelve thousand verses, with the result that her name is now associated more with Grillparzer’s tragedy than her own passionate, monumental hymns in praise of life, love and women.

With texts by Aeschylus, Ingeborg Bachmann, Hélène Cixous, Euripides, Esther Hutfless, Enis Maci, Friederike Mayröcker, Helga M. Novak, Ovid, Sappho, Elisabeth Schäfer, Christa Wolf, among others.

Elsa-Sophie Jach about Die Unerhörten

There are countless female figures in ancient mythology who lose their voices violently for rejecting a desire that is usually divine and usually male – and then raise those voices again all the more triumphantly: Echo, who is actually only allowed to repeat the final syllables of what has already been said, changes their meaning through her choice of words, and this continues to reverberate inside our heads. Cassandra, who prophecies the fall of Troy and whose prophecies no one believes. Philomela, whose tongue is cut out so that she cannot tell that she has been raped, but instead weaves the story into a carpet, making it both public and political. We want to celebrate these outrageous women in the love letters by Sappho that we have developed further, we want to challenge and summon them, ask them new questions and connect them with our reality. In a chorus and with music. Just like in ancient times. Only differently.
© Magnus Lechner

23 FEB - Artist Talk

A look behind the scenes and conversations with the people behind the scenes make the performance visit even more interesting. That is why ITA Academy organises a series of Artist Talks during Brandhaarden: in-depth discussions with inspiring makers about their work and working methods, motives, sources of inspiration and fascinations. Artist Talks take place after a performance by the relevant maker and offer depth to look at the work in a broader context.

On February 23, moderator Carolien Borgers will engage in a conversation with Elsa-Sophie Jach.

Registration is free (and required) via the link below

More info


with Evelyne Gugolz, Franziska Hackl, Pia Händler, Katja Jung, Nicola Kirsch, Lisa Stiegler
live music SLATEC
trombone Roman Sladek
synth Georg Stirnweiß
percussion Samuel Wootton
drums Marco Dufner
sound Josy Friebel
direction Elsa-Sophie Jach
musical Direction Max Kühn
stage Design Aleksandra Pavlović
costume Design Johanna Stenzel
lighting Barbara Westernach
dramaturgy Stefanie Hackl

The complete execution rights can be downloaded here.

Female Voices


How does the female voice sound when concentrated in time and place at a festival? During the 11th edition of international theatre festival Brandhaarden, six female directors confront plays and themes from the classical repertoire, in which female characters play leading roles. Brandhaarden: Female Voices takes place from Wednesday 22 February to Saturday 4 March and features performances by Elsa-Sophie Jach, Eline Arbo, Satoko Ichihara, Carme Portaceli, Hanane Hajj Ali and Ewelina Marciniak.

Previous editions have spotlighted directors such as Katie Mitchell, Milo Rau and Rimini Protokoll, writer Édouard Louis, the Southern European region (Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece) and city theatres such as Münchner Kammerspiele, Volksbühne Berlin and Peter Brooks Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord.

Thanks to

More Brandhaarden