NO EXIT Review


by Jean-Paul Sartre
translated by Paul Bowles into English

Preformed at the Brotfabrik Bonn-Beuel,
9th – 13th November, 2021


After nearly a year in rehearsals, cancelled performances due to Covid restrictions, cast changes etc. „No Exit” by Jean-Paul Sartre, translated by Paul Bowles, finally made it to the Brotfabrik to (mostly) full houses and to much acclaim. Our well deserved congratulations go to Nikesh Trecarten (the Director) who was ably assisted by Katie Jordans and Gill Atkinson; to the amazing cast: Carlo Borreo; Michael Odebrecht; Munira Abbas, and Lisa Pohlers, as well as all of the people backstage who made this production such a success and a reality!

We look forward to bringing you more productions in 2022, which we are making a year of celebration of our 40th anniversary by re-launching all of our postponed events – sign up for our mailing list to keep informed by contacting ed.sr1638523270eyalp1638523270nnob@1638523270liam1638523270.

Tracy Tollmann, Chair of The Bonn Players

Play Summery

No Exit, a play in the English language, finds three recently deceased strangers locked together in a living room in Hell. As they pass the time waiting for the torture to begin, they slowly come to realize that not all is as it appears to be.

Today’s audiences can quite likely relate to many of the central themes and questions of this play to the experience of having been in lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The most obvious parallel is that of being locked in a room without the possibility of leaving. Not to mention, the characters experience the passage of time in Hell differently than on Earth, and who among us didn’t lose track of the days at some point during lockdown?

But on a deeper level, in the absence of society’s pressures and constraints, the characters are forced to reckon with the fact that the things upon which they had based their entire lives no longer hold any importance in death. As the world went into lockdown, many of us began to question some fundamental assumptions upon which our society and economy are based, in the absence of the normality that held it all together. For the characters of No Exit, these realizations come too late. The question for us is, as we approach a return to normality, will we take the opportunities presented to us now to make changes to our lives on a personal and societal level? Or will we let ourselves fall back into the same old traps?

The play premiered in 1944 as Huis Clos, and was later translated by Paul Bowles into English. Fans of Sartre’s philosophical writings will recognize No Exit as a vehicle for his Existentialist beliefs.

The Bonn Players