The performance tells a story of people who devote all their life energy to work and receive no reward for it, as well as about young people who stop working as a form of rebellion and suddenly discover who they really are. Read today, “Leonce and Lena” is no longer a romantic comedy. It is more an attack on the generation of young, ambitious and creative people who leave their home to find work. The present Leonce and Lena leave to work in London.
Another subject of the performance is people who live against the grain. In his play about people in their twenties, his contemporaries, Büchner reveals an almost sadistic (or perhaps masochistic) pleasure of looking at how they become subject to trends and repeat the clichés of their reality, how they become artificial exactly when they think they are the most true to themselves. Büchner plays with their stupidity and ridiculousness.
The need to unmask is not a tool here, but an independent element. It is not just a result of the exterior gesture of the director – it is an organic quality of the characters, who are lost in the world of the performance like in a chamber of mirrors, continuously confronting their own reflection. Stuck in inertia, they are doomed to melancholia.