In 1774 Johann Wolfgan Goethe wrote, in just a few weeks, the novel that would bring him fame and his protagonist eternal life: The Sorrow of Young Werther. It appeared anonymously and was regarded as immoral and as an encouragement to commit suicide. In several countries it was forbidden for this exact reason.
De Miserie van de Jonge Werthers is a play full of references to this Goethe classic.
Two artist friends love to experience reality with all their heart: poetry, classical music, nature, and most of all their own thoughts and feelings. Most of all, they occupy themselves with talking about art and dreaming about a literary existence. Literature is their ersatz, their flight, their compensation for a lack: the lack of love. For one of them, this love is impossible, because his beloved Lotte has someone else whom she loves with all her heart. For the other, this love goes unanswered… however impossible he might find this, he, who is so interesting…
Neither of the friends wants to be second to the other in self pity and suffering, because that is what they both love: to suffer from the world, and love makes a good alibi…
Their romanticism is at its peak when they discover suicide as the ultimate salvation.
In this Wertherian play about love and happiness, loneliness and death, Nico Sturm and Stefaan Van Brabandt expose themselves. They dissect and tarnish each other mercilessly.
The Sorrow of the young Werthers is a dramatic Sturm und Drang-performance with a happy end.