Skip to main content

Theatre / World Premiere


Émile Zola, Luk Perceval

Armin Smailovic

The novels ‘Germinal’ (1885) and ‘La Bête Humaine’ (1890) provide the sources for the finale to the ‘Trilogy of my Family’. As key works of European naturalism they are among the best and most famous parts of Émile Zola’s life’s work, the Rougon-Macquart novels. They recount the fates of Etienne and Jacques, the two sons of the washerwoman Gervaise from the first part of the trilogy, ‘Love’, set in an age of industrialization and early capitalism.

Étienne finds work in a coal mine in northern France. Outraged by the inhuman living conditions he finds there and inspired by the idea of socialism, he instigates an uprising amongst the miners’ families. One section of the workers supports his strike, while another section attempts to negotiate with the mine-owners. When cheaper Belgian labourers are hired to repair the mine workings and the indignant workers attempt to stop them, the army intervenes.

His brother Jacques is a train driver who struggles with the impulse to kill women. As a result he leads a lonely life and the only affection he feels is towards his engine. Inadvertently he becomes a witness to a murder on board his train. However, he says nothing to the police and embarks on a love affair with the murderer’s wife.


Jaques Lantier - Rafael Stachowiak
Flore - Maja Schöne
Severine - Patrycia Ziolkowska
Roubaud/Direktor - Stephan Bissmeier
Étienne Lantier - Sebastian Rudolph
Katharina - Marie Jung
Chaval - Patrick Bartsch
Vater Maheu - Tilo Werner
Mutter Maheu - Oda Thormeyer
Bonnemort/Hyppolyte - Barbara Nüsse
Bahnwärter/Kommisar/Richter/Hauer/Kärrner/Köchin/Philomene - Gabriela Maria Schmeide
Johannes/Kapitän/Dr. Vanderhaegen/Heizer - Pascal Houdus
And - Nikolai Gemel, Andre Grawe, Sebastian Doppelbauer, Thore Lüthje
Live music - Sebastian Gille, Lothar Müller