Augenblick mal! 2003

Mittwoch, 7. Mai 2003 | carrousel Theater - Turnhalle

Städtische Bühnen Münster, Junges Theater
Norway.Today
von Igor Bauersima
S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main
ab 15 Jahren | 105 Minuten

Director: Kay Voges
Stage and Costume Design: Daniel Roskamp
Dramaturgy: Michael Jezierny, Thomas Richardt
Music: Nils Voges
Actor(s): Philip Gregor Grüneberg (August), Carolin M. Wirth (Julie)
Video: John Geiter
Fight scene: Volker Ullmann

Synopsis:

Julie and August. Two youths who have both grown up in a very protected world. There is no personal catastrophe, distress over love or suspension from school which drives them to meet in a chat room and agree to commit suicide together. Nothing in life

Vote:

'norway.today' is a duel. A struggle about making a decision, with yourself and with another. Seen this way, it reaches beyond the issue at hand, the desperation which leads to suicide. Thanks to the direction by Kay Voges, this dimension becomes tangible, most remarkably in the performance of Julie by Carolin Wirth. The actress is able to convey an astonishing range of nuances. As she embodies a young person determined to end her life she conjures to life a rich and highly contradictory character. The adolescent communication gestures, dialogue via 'signals' – trendy sound bites and body language clichés – but interspersed with breaks from the norm, signs of a unique, very personal vulnerability and strength, intelligence and helplessness: this is what makes Julie's story so believable and – as paradoxical as it may sound – so apparent why the end she is steering towards is inevitable. If this play is to take its characters seriously, these two souls in the abyss cannot simply return to their bedrooms (or to our living rooms). And so their end, or new beginning, is left unresolved. Kay Voges' directing especially emphasises the absurd yet genuine contradiction between being full of life's energy and at the same time plagued by suicidal desperation. What at first seems to be a simple plot, by diving into the depths of each situation and driving the performers to their extremes, Voges grabs the story by its roots, psychologically and, fortunately for the play, also comically.

The stage is also essential: a swaying ice landscape at the end of the world in which is imbedded, in quiet irony, cheap set pieces from 'Schöner Wohnen' (a German decorating magazine). And the composition of complementary scenographic media helps make up for some drastic cliffs in the text, especially the comic balloon character of the dialogue in the first two acts. Video projections are implemented sparingly and not in a trendy, affected way. Scattered animated sequences of polar bears infuse detached irony into the life's-end discussion of the two protagonists. Yet where the text explicitly demands the use of a video camera, it is ignored and the doubling of the theatre reality in a video projection is wisely avoided, the effect translated instead in theatrical terms. And that is the true quality of this production. The director has understood the difference between a description and a symbol. That the world of new media can only be portrayed on the stage with the means of the old medium, theatre.

Peter Fischer

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