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Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung

Gorilla im Tutu

Schauspielstudenten zeigen das "Paradies der Barbaren" im Kulturzelt Hannover

Kühl und zugig ist es, der Regen prasselt auf das Dach des Zirkuszeltes - passender könnte die Atmosphäre für das "Paradies der Barbaren" kaum sein, das hannoversche Schauspielstudenten im Kulturzelt hinter dem Haus der Jugend präsentieren. Denn dieses Paradies ist düster. Angelehnt an das Pariser Horrortheater "Grand Guignol“ das seine Besucher Ende des 19 Jahrhunderts auch mit fiktiven Morden unterhielt, kreieren die neun Studenten des zweiten Studienjahres eine Gruselkomödie mit Elementen aus Zirkus, Burlesque, Vaudeville und Varieté. Mit ihren weiß geschminkten Gesichtern, den dunkel umrandeten Augen und großen, verzerrten roten Mündern wirken sie wie Spukgestalten aus einer anderen Welt. Sie tanzen, singen, musizieren und erzählen den Zuschauern von den Rätseln ihrer Lebensgeschichten. Wie verlor die Seiltänzerin Nikita ihren Arm? Warum verstummte die schöne Roulette? Und wie kam der Gorilla zu seinem Tutu?
David Muller führt als teuflischer Zirkusdirektor in Frack und Zylinder durch den Abend und kündigt die Auftritte seiner Barbaren an. Dabei legt er sich so ins Zeug, dass ihm die Schminke schon bald vom schweißnassen Gesicht tropft. Zwischen den Schicksalsgeschichten der Zirkusmitglieder gibt es immer wieder lustige, akrobatische oder pantomimische Einlagen. Zeitweise haben die Schauspieler Schwierigkeiten, gegen den Lärm des Regens auf der Plane anzukommen, aber das ist nicht schlimm. Die possenhaften Sketche und melodramatischen Geschichten leben vor allem von der Mimik und Gestik der Darsteller. Man bangt und hofft mit Maya Haddad, die als Nikita schwankend auf dem Bühnenrand balanciert oder ängstlich zitternd vor der Wand des Messerwerfers steht. Und man lacht, wenn das Saxophonspiel Roulettes Fabian Baumgarten als wilde Bestie zum Tanzen bringt.
Unter der Regle von Stephan Hintze, der seit 1999 Dozent für Bewegung und szenische Choreografie an der Musikhochschule in Hannover ist, wird das Kulturzelt - in dem sonst das Rampenlicht-Varieté auftritt - für eineinhalb Stunden zum Schauplatz eines skurrilen Jahrmarkttheaters.

Von Frieda Fielers

SETKÁNÍ/ENCOUNTER in Brno - Tschechien

Barbarian Paradise - that is the parade of creatures and figures from music halls, cabarets, vaudeville, funfairs, circuses and freak shows. Actors use long-standing principles of clown shows as the inspirati­on for their performances, comedies, acrobatic and mime acts. Affected by horror theatre, they work with the expressiveness of their gestures and mimics and with variability of expressions which their whi­teface permits.
In this environment it is difficult to distinguish between reality and illusion, truth and lie. The actors of Barbarian Paradise leave the stage several times du­ring the performance and each time they come back afterwards. The sloppiness of the make-up which runs with sweat, torn clothes, damaged props- it has been a long time since they were interested in their art, they do not perform for pleasure of the audience, they play to earn a living, to save their own existence,
and they go on like this every day, several times a day. Who can tell what a mask, which sometimes cannot be even washed away, is and what is real life? They are artists and they teeter at the margins of the socie­ty, at the edge of the real and their own world. Their ´beautiful life´ is only a mask. It would be very naive to think that they are secure and untouchable under their masks, that nothing can reach their naked skin. Their world is not all fun, they steal from each other, they use other artists for their own benefit, they are jealous of each other´s success, they cheat, hurt, have their slaves and they are not even afraid to kill. They need to have situations under their control; they try to beat each other. Their world is made up of a lack of mutual help and understanding.
The individual vaudeville acts are introduced by the energetic principal of the show (David Mul­ler). Both the notion of time and space are relati­ve. For instance the audience learn how the acrobat from the very first show became disabled and lost her arm only retrospectively from one of the later acts. A strongman (Fabian Baumgarten) proves music has charms to soothe the savage breast, and under the influence of a saxophone quiets his inner animal.. However, the instincts are not suppressed enough to prevent him from killing his captor and the saxopho­nist who has subdued him by the instrument and who caused him to turn into a puppet, a gorilla dan­cing in a tutu.
The acrobat Collette balancing on the barrel, who would like to be able to reciprocate the love of all her suitors but she accidentally runs over all her lo­vers. Only Tambor, being on the same wavelength as Collette, is lured away by apples of several ran­dom half-naked juggling women. Afterwards seve­ral out-of-tune notes from Collette´s saxophone are heard instead of a reproof. And the punishment for Tambor´s unfaithfulness is blindness. The actors do not let the audience live through the emotions fully and, maybe with the aim of not scaring the specta­tors away, they do not let them go through the ca­tharses of unrequited loves of these sad clowns fully and they take things back to the level of fun. Tam­bor then decides to utilise his blindness and forms a whole band of the blind.
As if on a swing, the play takes a different turn, gets slower and more serious with the tour around the dirty, naughty and perverted underground of Pa­ris. There the dregs of humanity get to a heavy me­tal concert and they are so enamoured that they be­come zombies.
The timing, escalating tension and tempo of the per­formance are unfortunately intruded on by weak moments, where sketches are not underlined by sui­table sound accompaniment. Also the constant rear­ranging of the stage makes the rhythm of the perfor­mance slower and it is sometimes superfluous. This is, on the other hand, balanced by bearable repetiti­ons, circulation of jokes with gentle variations and with exactly escalated points. The tempo is also pre­served by the constant (in melodramatic scenes nos­talgic) violin and slow saxophone.
The moments based on a sexual undertone (sce­nes where a character has sex with everything that walks or flies by) or the scene where puppets demon­strate the “Hitler sketch” as goose-stepping soldiers are intrusive, redundant and sometimes superficial. However, it is a wild circus, where everything is al­lowed and everything is forgiven as well as forgotten.
Michaela Malčíková

...eccentricity, exuberance, tempo, atmosphere, li­mitlessness, engagement, power, enchantment, spi­rit...
We were taken to the Barbarian Paradise, a small the­atre consisting of outcasts and weirdos of French so­ciety, by the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media under the baton of Stephan Hintz, the author and the director of the performance. Right from the opening song (which is also the first part of the Barbarian Paradise theatre’s performance) you can feel the incredible energy flowing from the thea­trical company – energy that immediately grabs the audience’s attention.
The Barbarian Paradise repertoire is made up of ske­tches, scenes and representations of the lives of its “actors”. The artists don’t hesitate to reveal their ske­letons in the closet to the audience (that is, to us). They tell their life stories all completely untouched by the slightest glimpse of happiness. And in case there were some glimmer, although barely visible, it would be soon trampled on by unlucky coincidence, malice or unpredictable destiny. This turned them into bizarre artists, freaks, but also into typical sim­pletons who were just not lucky enough or found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. The comic comes from the tragic and vice versa.
It is perfectly possible to write more about the use of projections which added yet another dimension to the performance, or about mixing the live (that is performed by the actors) and reproduced music, or about the movable scenery, enabling characters and things to disappear, about the lights, the costumes or make-up. It is also possible to describe these ele­ments one by one. They all contribute to the perfor­mance and they are irreplaceable in the way they are combined to work. But it is the acting that made me feel absolutely thrilled and excited, and that deserves the biggest applause. Every actor has his or her own character, each stylized differently with regard to the movements, expression, voice etc. And they remain in the same role from the beginning to the end. Each character is completely under their control and they control it. Their verve, which is reflected in the cha­racters’ animality, makes each of them a specimen worth observing. The Russian countess Madame Butterfly, the Gorilla, the Drummer, the Captain, the Porter, Roulette, one-handed Nikita, the Crazy woman from Montparnasse, the Entertainer and the Devil in one person. Each story grabs your attention and it won’t let it go. It is so difficult to choose one that outstrips the others. Collective scenes then re­veal the overall harmony and enthusiasm emanating from the company (e.g. their version of the “Mahna Mahna” song from the Muppet Show!!!). The Ger­man performance completely took over the Goose on the String Theatre for an hour and a quarter and gave us an unforgettable experience. Thank you!
Tereza Říhová

Where to start? What to write about it? I was told that the typical “I liked it” phrase should not be used in my review. All right. Then I will demonstrate my linguistic dexterity and extensive vocabulary.
The performance suggested right from the start that it would provide a very enjoyable experience. Ente­ring the theatre hall we could see all actors lined up at the stage; optimistic and rhythmical music was playing to greet us. The actors then enlivened it with their movements. Furthermore, with their voices they created a kind of a chorus, well, a weird mixtu­re of sounds which brought smiles to viewers‘ faces.
And the smile has remained at our faces for almost the whole performance.
We could say that the play was a collection of a few short études from a comedian‘s environment. And not without reason did it pride itself on the tit­le “Barbarian Paradise”! Excellent dramatic perfor­mances really evoked the wild and boisterous life of nomads and the actors themselves evidently enjoy­ed the show too. Their sweaty faces with washed-off make-up during a curtain call which had to be repea­ted about six times were clear evidence of them put­ting maximum effort into the performance.
When I was arriving at the Goose theatre, I was a bit afraid that I wouldn‘t survive the one-hour-and-quarter of German (yes, I do admit openly - I am not exactly aroused by the German language). Therefo­re I was pleasantly surprised when the German was interspersed with English, French and other langua­ges. Moreover, the performance was not excessive­ly wordy, which accounted for its next strength. The Germans mastered the motion aspect entirely – they also knew how to make the most of the tiniest gestu­res. I also want to praise the playfulness and lightne­ss running through all the show (I intentionally use the word show, because a show it was).
Individual études were approached differently. I ap­preciated, for instance, that one of the stories was “dubbed live”. To me it connoted a category of the­atre improvisation – the actor on the stage is perfor­ming, but not talking, another one standing below the stage is dubbing. The “hands” category appeared during the play as well – one actor hides his hands behind his back, another as if hugs him from behind and is, hyperbolically speaking, “dubbing the other‘s hands with his own”. Generally speaking, the author of the play proved hugely inventive and the audien­ce was not - even for a moment - bored.
A girl playing the saxophone deserves a separate pa­ragraph in my “review” (an article, figment, effusion, verbal diarrhoea). She manifested immense handine­ss (or better to say footiness) accompanying every­thing by playing her instrument whilst standing on a rolling barrel as if it was a piece of cake. One of the highlights of the performance was the moment when she “ran over and crushed” several men.
And the notoriously known fact that a joke is funny the first time, not the second time, but the third time again, has been skilfully applied to “Barbarian Para­dise” as well. Repetition of dry gags was one of the typical features of the whole play. The stories can be characterised as dry mini-comedies set one after ano­ther in a rapid pace.
What else to add? Just by the stage design (excel­lent work with moving canvas!) and mask concepti­on one could tell the German origin of the perfor­mance (certain realistic crudity was reflected in every minute of the play). Some scenes even created a truly terrifying impression. All in all, the “Barbarians” pre­sented a brilliant show, and I‘d like to see some more Hannoverian theatre pieces.
Tereza Reková

Schauspielschultreffen in Wien

Der Conférencier lädt das Publikum ein zur revue aus Zirkusnummern. Ein weißes Podest mit beweglichen Paravents wird zur Arena für die Parade der grotesken, lustigen und traurigen Außenseiter, denen nichts anderes übrig bleibt, als ihr Glück im Varieté zu suchen, die Zuschauer mit ihren Schicksalen zum Lachen zu bringen oder zu Tränen zu rühren.

Nikita verlor ihren Arm, weil dem Messer- werfer die Axt ausrutschte. Nun balanciert sie auf dem Seil, während die stumme Roulette auf der Tonne ihre Verehrer überrollt und sie mit ihrer Anmut buchstäblich platt macht. Makaber muten die flotten Steppkünste der Soldaten im Schützengraben an. Unversehens kippt die skurrile Show in den Totentanz, belustigt dann wieder mit erotischen Chaplina- den oder verherrlicht zynisch das Böse im Menschen. Tanzt der Gorilla im Tutu zum Drehorgelwalzer, wird sein Act auch zur Klage eines gefangenen, gedemütigten und an Fesseln vorgeführten Tieres.

Die dunklen Seiten des Show-Biz enthüllten die Schauspieler nicht nur bei ihrem Schatten- theater. Sie ließen – im Gegensatz zu Zirkus oder ähnlich glamourös virtuosen Kommerz- spektakeln – hinter den Masken und Kostümen Freud und Leid der Lebenskünstler sichtbar werden. Sie erzählten von Einsamkeit, Liebessehnsucht und Ohnmacht. Und begeis- terten und verblüfften natürlich mit ihren graziösen und gekonnten Körper-Künsten.

Ein Jubelsturm belohnte die bezaubernd charmante und melancholische Theaterzirkus- truppe und eine doppelte Auszeichnung durch Jury und Publikum.

Klaus Witzeling


Auszeichnung für Paradies der Barbaren

Marta Award für David Müller, stellvertretend für die herausragende Ensemble-Leistung von "Paradies der Barbaren" beim internationalen Festival Setkani/Encounter 2012 in Brno, zu dem alljährlich die Theaterfakultät der Janacek Akademie Theaterhochschulen aus der ganzen Welt einlädt.

"Marta Award Male Actor: David Müller
For the leading role of Cabaretiere that represented the dynamic and diverse acting skills of the whole ensemble in the production “Barbarian Paradise”.


Preise beim Schauspielschultreffen in Wien:
Die Studierenden des 3. Studienjahres Laura Uhlig, Maya Haddad, Anne Bontemps, Anne-Marie Lux, Fabian Baumgarten, Lars Koch, Ali Berber, Jonas Minthe und David Müller wurden beim Treffen der deutschsprachigen Schauspielstudierenden in Wien mit einem Ensemblepreis über 3000 Euro ausgezeichnet. Außerdem erhielten Sie den "Preis der Studierenden" als beste Produktion des Treffens, vergeben von allen teilnehmenden Schauspielstudierenden.

Fotos: Krystof Korc, Pavel Nesvadba

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