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Wunschkonzert

Schauspiel Köln
By Franz Xaver Kroetz

Directed by Katie Mitchell
Stage and costume design Alex Eales
Video Leo Warner
Music Paul Clark
Sound design Gareth Fry
Lighting design Magnus Kjellberg, Michael Frank
Dramaturgy Rita Thiele

With
Therese Dürrenberger
Laura Sundermann
Birgit Walter
Julia Wieninger
Stefan Nagel

Sound artists (live performance) Simon Allen/Julia Klomfaß
String quartet Tiziana Bertoncini, Johannes Platz, Marei Seuthe, Radek Stawarz
Live camera Stefan Kessissoglou, Sebastian Pircher

Premiere 5 December 2008
Length 1h 20, no interval

Audience discussion
Wed 6 May 22:45
Moderation Birgit Lengers

The stage of the Cologne Schauspielhaus is packed full. Video cameras, a string quartet in a soundproof room, keyboards, a dissected grand piano and in the background an entire one room apartment. Filming goes on here, in real time. On a giant screen we see a woman come home, eat a couple of slices of cheese and a pickled cucumber and turn on the television, where the quiz show “What’s My Line?” with Robert Lembke is on. She turns off the set, preferring to listen to the radio, a request programme with works by Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. The music provides no comfort. It intensifies her loneliness. The woman goes to bed, her eyes stay open. At some point she swallows sleeping pills, several packets, washing the pills down with sparkling wine. In the early Seventies Franz Xaver Kroetz wanted his play “Wunschkonzert” [Request Programme] to draw attention to the silent suicides that hardly anyone noticed. This socio-political dimension to the play remains in the background in Katie Mitchell’s production. The British director and the video artist Leo Warner show how images are created, how a film-team apparently produces reality. No sound is genuine, every door opening, every tablet pressed out is dubbed live. As soon as a scene is over, the actors drop immediately out of character and hurry to their next position. The audience can choose for themselves whether they want to concentrate on the film that is being made or on the filming process which takes place around it.