International Youth Theatre Festival at Volksbühne, Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Berlin
Department of German, University College Cork
A dense wall of black bodies is moving across the dimly lit stage. Three faces appear and disappear between the heads and feet of the human chain. They belong to a pregnant woman, her husband and their daughter. They try to find a loophole in this chain to make the breakthrough, sometimes by strategic moves, sometimes by force. Although the intruders eventually succeed and find a provisional place to live, the battle is still on. While looking for an apartment and a job, they are confronted with ever-changing forms of discrimination and xenophobia. Impressive and space-filling images by Dolný Kubin’s Slovakian pupils depict the experience of a family emigrating to an unknown country and who, after having traversed the border, are soon faced with tricky German language barriers: a soup doesn´t “stink“, it rather “smells.“ What is special about this performance is its very strong imagery and spirited acting, strikingly stimulated by special settings. For example, a large, sliced-open box that serves as an emergency shelter for the refugees. The intuition of the actors for minimalist linguistic jokes („ein Gehweg ist kein Stehweg“1) and their courageous associative narration is also remarkable in this play. The students from Rennes are quite ...
Roth-Lange, F. (2014) 'International Youth Theatre Festival at Volksbühne, Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Berlin', Scenario: A Journal of Performative Teaching, Learning, Research, VIII(1), pp. 73-76. doi: 10.33178/scenario.8.1.7