In the morning, the former Minister of State for Culture, Julian Nida-Rümelin, asked rhetorically about something “positive” in his festival speech: “Instead of utopias we currently only have dystopias.




Against this background, the question arises: Where is the positive? ”In climate change, an impending nuclear war and the social consequences of the digital transformation, Nida-Rümelin identified the three central dystopian tendencies of the age and opposed them with the humanistic utopia of a civil-cultural democracy.

Only in it can man assert his “authorship”, the free choice of his way of life.

Simon Strauss

Editor in the features section.

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No, roared at this champagne breakfast-like celebratory speech bonmot in the evening, Richard, indulging in his madness, no, free authorship is possible even in dictatorship and the most inhuman tyranny.

It is precisely in total dystopia that there is strength and self-confidence for the individual.

Lina Beckmann, wasting body and voice, stood on the Hallein stage for four hours to contradict all correct fair weather talk outside.

“When I was born, the air was full of screams”, is the first sentence in this version, which merges Shakespeare's “Henry VI” and “Richard III” and combines it with texts from Tom Lanoye's “Eddy the King”.

And this four long hour evening is also a single scream - a scream for a horse (right at the beginning), a scream for vengeance, a scream for power.

Lina Beckmann gives Richard first as a child, then as a king.

Insulted by his mother as a “lump of crippling”, abused by his brothers, young Richard first tries to counter the unreasonable demands of his surroundings with the child's innocence.

Whining, he calls for “Papa” and “Mama”, sits down on the rocking horse, humming, and races around with the tricycle in high spirits.

Overcome by self-disgust

But soon he was overcome by self-disgust, driving him mad with the insight that “there is no part of him that is not crippled”. Little Richard becomes a pit bull prolo who tries to rub his hand at his crotch, imitates the macho walk of his brothers and shows that every death rattle sounds like music to his ears. When he killed his father, he screamed like a toddler about to be lifted from the pot: “You can come, ready.” But immediately afterwards he begs for understanding that he, damn it, always sees the world as hell to experience has become a knife-piercing fury.

Lina Beckmann, who, like few others, knows how to strike a succinct parlandotone without making what has been said sound superficial, holds the whole evening in her hand. You look at it, you listen to it, even if the dramaturgy of the compressed royal drama medley soon tires.

Against the monotony of the pure text presentation on a slightly inclined disc stage, director Karin Henkel uses a clockwork-orange-like horror aesthetic that is repeatedly underscored by a musical track made up of techno beats or liturgical chorals. Truncated Trump quotes and the uncontrolled use of the slang word "fuck" defuse the overwritten Shakespeare text twice and sometimes make it seem involuntarily innocent. And yet the intention of the director is not just caricature, but rather an attempt to wake up the played dead horror characters and present them as injured members of a destroyed state body.

The evening works like a gruesome fashion show, in which the mannequins appear in new, even uglier disguises. This works best when the playful Kristof Van Boven (as Heinrich VI. Or Lady Anne) or the grumpy Kate Strong (as Edward IV and Duchess of York) stand next to Lina Beckmann. Then their undermining of all significance does not appear simply adolescent, but provocative. Then her physicality gives the most convincing expression of what is seething in her figure and can suddenly turn from abysmal self-disgust into boundless arrogance.

After the break, the gloomy catwalk turns into a foggy chessboard on which the Privy Council stands rigidly around as a gang of men in pinstripe suits and is promised "flat hierarchies, feedback culture and a quota of women" from a scheming Richard. He, who was previously ridiculed by everyone as a "warthog", is now the dreaded king who can murder indiscriminately. It becomes banal when Richard declares cruelty as an expression of an "inferiority complex" and an increasingly crude language has to be reinforced by sudden music recordings in order to create horror.

“Everything I did, I had to do so that the world wouldn't slip away from me,” the ruler justifies himself in the end and swaps his blazer for a glitter jacket. Once again Beckmann succeeds in a furious dance of his own mother to Elvis, then she stands alone on the black disk under flares that look like stars frozen in a fall: "You quickly forget the corpses along the way - and the world rolls on and on" she calls in a broken voice. The fact that the evening does not end there, but is drowned again in machine gun salvos and incidental events, is symptomatic of its rampant character. Henkel's obvious attemptFollowing Luk Perceval's 1999 adaptation of Shakespeare's "Battles", which was noted as extraordinary in the festival chronicle - then as now, Katrin Brack is responsible for the simple stage design - fails. But with Lina Beckmann, the drama, which is still neglected in Salzburg, has another outstanding appearance alongside its celebrated new Jedermann.