Noise. Mindless Watching. Watch the mindless!
von Elfriede Jelinek
If Elfriede Jelinek, who since her literary beginnings has been the “master of media storms”, attaches herself with her latest theatrical text to the incessant media talk about the pandemic, that can only develop into a stream of shimmering, shifting meanings.
Noise: that is the torrent of news, talks, declarations, rumours, theories and conspiracies that has been flooding us every day as part of the pandemic. Jelinek artfully spins this cacophony of arguing voices into a web of remarkable correspondences, for example by claiming to always be on the side of truth and reality, a position that everybody shares and that therefore divides and tears people apart again and again.
The imagery also creates multiple layers in this calculatedly shady terrain. Jelinek superimposes one of the most famous orgies of antique literature, the revelries at the home of the enchantress Circe, who transforms Odysseus’ companions into pigs, with the riotous, unrestrained world of the superspreaders of Ischgl, from where the Coronavirus spread across the whole of Europe. This analogy perhaps most clearly demonstrates Elfriede Jelinek's outrageous wit, which allows her to turn the horrific images of the pandemic into amusement without betraying her serious intentions: because over the grotesque there floats, like a black cloud, the deadly ambience of an environment which humankind continually desecrates. All the more ludicrous is the chatter about the crushing consequences of this hubris. In a wild ride, Jelinek drags us down crude paths of political perplexities, the highs and lows of mythical depth and real idiocy, which begs the question: in this apocalyptic landscape of the blind and the deaf, don’t all truths go to pieces amid our voluntary-forced laughter?
Directed by: Karin Beier Stage Design: Duri Bischoff Costume Design: Wicke Naujoks Music: Jörg Gollasch Video: Severin Renke Lightning: Annette ter Meulen Assistant Choreography: Altea Garrido Körpertraining: Valentí Rocamora i Torà Dramaturgy: Rita Thiele