Jahrmarkt der Grausamkeiten

In der Inszenierung von Sebastian Nübling und dem Ensemble der Münchner Kammerspiele dreht sich ein Kettenkarussell um die trashige Spießigkeit einer US-amerikanischen Kleinstadt. „Orpheus steigt herab“ von Tennessee Williams – eine Parabel über Fremdenfeindlichkeit und über den verzweifelten Versuch, die Liebe zum Anderen zu retten.

Zeichnung: Henrike Terheyden/ KENDIKE
Zeichnung: Henrike Terheyden/ KENDIKE

Bloggerin Eva Biringer ist ganz angetan vom „steten, smoothen Gleiten“ von Risto Kübar in der Rolle des „Val“. Und wer sich nicht mehr ganz sicher ist, worum es in der griechischen Mythenwelt bei Orpheus ging, findet hier Nachhilfe. Alle Zeichenkritiken zu den zum TT eingeladenen Inszenierungen hier.

"They suck these strangers dry: there is a vampire side of the system." An interview with Sebastian Nübling

Sebastian Nübling’s German-language production of American playwright Tennessee Williams’ 1957 Orpheus Descending for the Münchner Kammerspiele delves into the complexities of being an outsider, and was praised by the Theatertreffen jury for its “timeless value”. Tonight and tomorrow it is shown at Haus der Berliner Festspiele

Why did you decide to take on the job of staging this little-known work by Tennessee Williams?
It’s a clear story and not too psychological. It’s more like a parable, sort of an evil fairy tale, of a story really going wrong. It’s about how these kinds of situations can develop and not about one single very specific situation. The second reason for doing it was that (Estonian actor) Risto Kübar would play the male lead; that was the main click to say, okay, now it makes sense to produce the play because we have an actor in the centre of the play who is able to perform something between cultures, between languages and also on the gender level between the sexes – so you can understand a bit why this whole community where this stranger lands becomes so troubled on different levels.

How is the relationship of us vs. them portrayed?
It’s not all that simple: we have this kind of community where a stranger comes in and they get a lot of energy out of this guy, a lot of fantasy and projections on a sexual, emotional and violent level in the end. In a way you get the feeling that they need this kind of an other. On one hand to define what they are themselves, and on the negative side what they are not. And on the other hand they suck these strangers dry: there is a vampire side of the system.

Getting cocky with some baloons. Photo Credit: Julian Röder
Getting cocky with some balloons. Photo Credit: Julian Röder

The community plays a larger role in this work than in William’s more popular plays, like A Streetcar Named Desire or The Glass Menagerie…
There are stories from individuals you can connect to, but he also tries to build a bigger social network around the centre plot. He tries to communicate something about social circumstances and about the big questions: how do we live together and how do we want to live together and what stops us from living together the way we would like to?

Is the inspiration behind the staging still 1950s America?
I think Bavaria is not so far away from America to be honest: it has, you know, the cowboy hats. It’s sort of a mixture it’s not really like “this is in America” but more like prototype characters from movies and that I think it’s good for that stuff because it’s about prototype situation. It’s in German but you have this actor who doesn’t speak German in real life and so he learned the role on a phonetic basis. Continue reading "They suck these strangers dry: there is a vampire side of the system." An interview with Sebastian Nübling


Or Five Things I Learned From Sebastian Nübling

Keynote Speech at the opening of Stückemarkt 2011 on 8th May 2011 at Haus der Berliner Festspiele.

The British playwright Simon Stephens. Photo: Piero Chiussi

I have to confess something rather embarrassing. The title of this lecture is SKYDIVING BLINDFOLDED. I’m sure there are some people who are speculating as to why I’ve decided to call this lecture by that name. In what way is it to be an exploration of the suicidal or the daredevil? The unsighted and the insane? I have to confess that I don’t really exactly know why myself. All I can say is that it was suggested to me that I deliver a lecture with the title “Infinite Diversity in New European Writing”. The idea filled me with an odd mix of boredom and horror. So I invented a new title quickly without really knowing what it meant. So it doesn’t mean anything. So don’t expect me to explain why this lecture is called SKYDIVING BLINDFOLDED. Because I won’t. Because I don’t know why myself.

I gave it a sub-title yesterday which is more thematically relevant and which will form the body of the talk. The sub-title is FIVE THINGS I LEARNED FROM SEBASTIAN NÜBLING. For those of you who don’t know, Sebastian is a German theatre director based in Basel in Switzerland. He directed the first German language production of any of my plays in 2003, has directed three other productions since and opens a fifth this Autumn in Tallinn and Munich. He’s taught me a lot of things over the seven years of our collaboration. I’m going to share five of them with you. In a bit. Continue reading SKYDIVING BLINDFOLDED