So ten hours of theater.
Ten hours of antiquity, Prometheus, Troy and Oresty, ten hours of struggle for fate, self-determination and your own path, full of violence, cruelty, courage, fear, hope - and yes, especially in the end kitsch that brings tears to your eyes drives.
When, shortly before midnight, the sun rises like a ball and huge over the summer building, the actors lie exhausted on the football pitch and Matze Pröllochs on the drums, covered in fog, as often accompanies the cathartic moment on this day, it is a pretty simple picture , but also a touching one.
It is certainly due to the fact that the audience afterwards applaud standing and do not want to stop at all.
Editor in the Rhein-Main-Zeitung.
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Christopher Rüping's award-winning “Dionysus City”, which had its much-discussed premiere at the Münchner Kammerspiele in October 2018 under director Matthias Lilienthal, with summer building designer and Mousonturm director Matthias Pees as dramaturge alongside Valerie Göhring, opens the “Great Frankfurt Dionysia in Offenbach ”on the Kaiserleipromenade, based on the multi-day festival in honor of the god Dionysus in ancient Greece.
The fact that the work is shown again is something special in itself.
Spectators almost around the entire stage
The visitors have therefore come from all over Germany, the performances next weekend are sold out. And then also in this building, reminiscent of the Colosseum, of three box floors in red and black, in which the audience sits almost around the entire stage. Nothing can escape them. They belong to it, take part in the suffering of Prometheus, Zeus and Io, Achilles, Hector, Hecabe and Andromache, Clytaimnestra, Aigisthus, Electra and Orestes. At the end of the first of three tragedies, Prometheus hovers over their heads, covered by the white droppings of the eagle, which has been eating its liver for thousands of years, carried by a huge crane to dizzying heights, punished by Zeus for believing in the potential of humanity and himself opposed the will of the gods by bringing fire to them,science and technology.
It is as if “Dionysus City” was made for summer construction. When Nils Kahnwald chats about the performance in the first few minutes and asks the audience as if it were the humorous introduction of a circus director, when the audience in the middle of the play on the smoker's bench indicating "green", a row of chairs from the Munich subway, puff a cigarette while the drama takes its course in front of them, and when in the third part of the Oresty the stage fills with ouzo-drinking spectators, who experience the bloody decay of the Agamemnons family almost like additional actors, the airy-free design of the takes off Baus paid. So, one thinks, with the visible and audible reactions of the audience and the booze on stage, it could have been thousands of years ago with the Dionysia in Athens.
The first bars of arrest warrant "069"
Munich, Berlin, Offenbach and Frankfurt, this sequence of venues must of course not remain completely without comment.
So instead of a gong, the first bars of arrest warrant "069" call the audience back to the boxes after the breaks.
And Elektra and Pylades want to have one last nice day in Offenbach before their execution, eat green sauce, jump into the Main.
It doesn't have to be, but the locals think it's funny.
The laughter and some flat jokes are part of this theater marathon, which is fine because they take the breath away from the non-stop violence of the stories for a moment. In the foreground, however, is the intoxication, the unbelievable pull that the play of Nils Kahnwald, Benjamin Radjaipour, Maja Beckmann, Gro Swantje Kohlhof, Majd Feddah, Jochen Noch and Wiebke Mollenhauer develops on the stage by Jonathan Mertz, accompanied by Matze Pröllochs' and Jonas Holle's music. Ten hours of theater may have been common in ancient Athens, but in impatient, entertainment-spoiled Germany of the early 21st century, they are a test of the spirit, the ability to devote themselves, the love of the theater.
But the piece effortlessly manages to hold the audience's attention. Occasionally this is due to the fact that what is happening on stage is easy to decipher, that there are spectacles and the Oresty is staged in the “good times, bad times” style as a soap opera. That doesn't change the intensity of the material and the actors, who all do fantastic things together. Radjaipour's Prometheus almost tears your heart apart in his suffering for what is only supposedly good, Mollenhauer's conversation between Menelaus, Helena and Hekabe is of horrific fascination and insight, the conversation of the Trojan women degraded to prey is more topical than ever with its biting feminism.
What kind of species do we want to be? Did we deserve what Prometheus gave us? When looking at humanity, do you feel disgusted with aliens somewhere out in space, as Nils Kahnwald says at the very beginning? Why do we do what we do, wage wars, are cruel, let one evil produce another and never break free from this spiral? “Dionysus City” asks about the fate, the predetermined, the power of the gods. It tells of the desire of people, drunk with their own greatness, to destroy the gods and to determine their own path. And then? That question remains. Even after ten hours that previously seemed endless and then passed so quickly. The head is full, the thoughts are circling. Oh, theater!