- Written after motifs in Søren Kierkegaards "Fear and Trembling". 

It would be a blissful day had it not been for a sinister event. A man and boy are walking to the park. The man is carrying a bag with a bottle of gasoline and a knife. The walk rather than taking the bus. The man will do anything to postpone the moment he must sacrifice his son. 

Is the man completely insane or is he simply disregarding all ethical considerations as he is under God’s command?

Roland Schimmelpfennig's new play, which he has written for Holland House's artistic director, Jacob F. Schokking, offers a close-up take of the morning - the sunny yet terrible September morning - when God commanded the man to sacrifice his own son. They are the nameless descendants of Abraham and Isaac, now no longer on the way to Mount Moriah, but to a hill in the park, where the only witness is the park attendant out to empty the waste bins. The events are commented by the mother in the play. The woman, just like Sarah in the Old Testament, has born a son by divine providence, despite being barren.

In his little book, "Fear and Trembling", Søren Kierkegaard explains how all ethical considerations can be disregarded when under Gods command in reference to the story of Abraham and Isak – a predicament that hasn’t lost its current relevance. One need only to consider our times’ suicide bombers or fanatical fundamentalists of any kind of conviction or belief.

In his new play, Schimmelpfennig tests and acts out Kierkegaard’s thesis. In a gossamer dramaturgic compilation of over 300 mini scenes , he attacks the predicament from all directions. He even goes so far as to scrutinize the very concept of God. Despite the extreme cut-up techniques and complex predicaments, the play amasses itself around one drama-packed situation: a father must take the life of his son for the greater good. This is the very genesis of fear as ”…fear emerges when something occurs that you cannot control”, as scripted in Roland Schimmelpfennigs play.



Fear & Trembling was prized by the Danish Arts Foundation’s Film & Stage Committee based on the following:

Jakob F. Schokking’s production of the German dramatist, Schimmelpfennig’s texts hurls itself from the highest outcrop – and lands on its feet. The drama of the Old Testament revolving around Abraham and Isak is projected to a time where the earth hangs precariously over a family scenario. As the retelling signifies the continuous and constant dramaturgical grasp, the story progresses and accelerates towards the incident on the mountain as the ultimate confrontation between belief and meaninglessness. The production’s successful dynamic is created in the interplay between the text, music, the eminent video design, and the fine performances by the actors. As such, Fear & Trembling is awarded.


”Brave – Holland House has the courage to tackle the basis of existence.”


Text: Roland Schimmelpfennig

Music: FM Einheit

Director/Set designer: Jacob F. Schokking

Translation: Karen-Maria Bille



Roland Schimmelpfennig is one of Europe’s most famous, played and award-winning playwrights. At 38- year old, Schimmelpfennig had already written 16 plays, which have now been translated into more than 20 different languages. Parallel with his work as playwright, Schimmelpfennig has directed several of his own plays with great success.

For more information about Roland Schimmelpfennig, please visit: http://www.goethe.de/kue/the/nds/nds/aut/smp/enindex.htm


FM Einheit - Composer

FM Einheit is the stage name of the German DJ, musician, and composer, Frank-Martin Strauss. In the 1970’s, FM Einheit unfurled himself in the punk music environment with bands such as Abwärts og Palais Schaumburg, and in the 1980’s, he was a member of the legendary German industrial band Einstürzende Neubauten as a drummer. FM Einheit has produced a large number of compositions for radio plays, theatre, and movies in Germany and abroad.


JACOB F. SCHOKKING – Director/set designer

Jacob F. Schokking is a Dutch visual artist and theatre director/set designer, educated as a visual artist from the Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Gent, Belgium. Jacob F. Schokking has resided in Denmark since 1981, and in 1988, he became the co-founder of the theatre, Holland House, where he’s still the artistic director.  With an extensive use of video projections and digitally manipulated graphics, Schokking has created a highly original style that has gained increasing recognition in Denmark and abroad.

For more information on Jacob F. Schokking and Holland House, please visit: www.hollandhouse.dk