paradies fluten (verirrte sinfonie)
A play for two survivors in climate pods, an exhausted symphony orchestra, a drowning dance company and an average, white, Central European family. A play for a world, in fact, that’s in deep water – or maybe for the first Central European orchestra of refugees. In this first part of his climate trilogy, even Thomas Köck’s stage directions, including instructions to be read to sound like noises of war, challenge the theatre to its extremes. And that is exactly where his writing goes – to the extreme limits of what is comprehensible.
With powerful language and plenty of humour, he traces an arc from the early phases of globalisation to present times: From the 19th century rubber boom which erased entire regions and peoples to a contemporary nuclear family and its precarious working and living conditions. Similar to a flood in itself, the play’s language flushes more and more material from the humankind’s history and present onto the stage. Borrowed from our reality, this is the flood that places the plastic waste of uninhibited consumption right next to the remains of those shipwrecked by a white world order, floating in the dissonance between the big business of free travel for goods and border patrols for human beings.
This excessive text – in the best sense of the word – brought young Austrian author Thomas Köck a nomination for the dramatists’ award at the 2015 Heidelberg Stückemarkt and won the 2016 Kleist Prize. “Because this may be a little too much for one evening, I suggest frequent reprises of this text”, the author’s jokes in a foreword to his play. At Schauspiel Leipzig, this suggestion will be taken up by the Mexican director, author and theoretician Alberto Villareal. He is one of the most radical representatives of a young Mexican theatre dealing with the legacy of colonialism – including and especially with regard to the connections between aesthetic, historical and political issues. The reality of his native country seems to oscillate between colonial trauma and an ambiguous position within the global West-South divide.
Alberto Villareal’s visually stunning productions have been presented in countries like Brazil, Argentina, Cuba, Portugal, Spain and England; his texts have been translated into German, English, Portuguese and French. In “paradies fluten”, his directorial debut in Germany, Alberto Villareal plans to journey across the emotional maps of all these highly connected and well-informed people of the Occident, this civilised, democratic family, and to outline a theatre for the end of times that has much in common with the immensity of the Amazonian jungle and little interest in trying to be a fortress for humankind’s clean conscience.