Der Hässliche (The Ugly One) by Marius von Mayenburg
Directed by Valentin Levitsky
Mr Lette, an engineer and inventor who works on electrical connector plugs, makes a horrible discovery: it would appear that he himself is unspeakably ugly. Why has no one told him this until now? Why does it have to be his boss, of all people, who points it out to him when they talk about a congress at which Lette finally wants to present his most recent invention.
Now a despised colleague will travel there and accept someone else's laurels. When confronted with the issue, Lette's wife also has to admit that his face has always been "catastrophic", but she loves him all the same. The decision that he should undergo surgical correction is quickly taken. Lette's unexpected rebirth as a man of irresistable beauty soon makes him famous. His surgeon markets him profitably as an ideal face, his boss uses his handsome looks as bait for women who happen to be solvent major shareholders. Lette surrounds himself with groupies. But his fame does not last long. Lette's market value falls rapidly when he finds himself confronted with ever more duplicates of himself. The erotic oversupply also overwhelms his wife. Lette's self-division progresses unrelentingly. Marius von Mayenburg's furious new comedy heightens the widespread phenomenon of our estrangement from our bodies into the grotesque, holding up a mirror to the vanity of so many relationships. The double and triple roles stipulated by the author lend a surprising dramatic structure to this social satire.