There is this wonderful moment when Angela Winkler, an alcoholic and pill mom in a lemon yellow designer outfit, stands by her rolling cart on the balustrade of a giant ship, looking at her son writer Christian and giving him professional advice on cold-blooded objectivity. “Just read Flaubert!” “Then you’ll see how it works!”
It goes without saying that this son, played by Joachim Mayerhof, is in no way inferior to his mother. She is “sick in the head,” he told the audience in Berlin Schaubuhnny, only to add curtly: “Not only there, but there above all.”
Director Jan Boss has taken the risk of adapting Christian Kracht’s novel “Eurotrash” for the theater, this multi-layered, intertwined and clear-cut two-hundred-page book that reflects (and repeatedly undermines) the autobiography and storytelling, which—published in the spring—was shortlisted for the German Book Prize.
The protagonist of Kracht’s novel, writer by the name of Christian, visits his very rich mother in a psychiatric clinic and sets off with her by taxi on a road trip in Switzerland, where the two stop, among other things, in a quaint Nazi commune, have an unforgettable meal of trout and above all, There are plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in family history: for the Nazi grandfather and the father of Springer’s manager. Or how a mother was raped when she was eleven years old and could not save her son from the same thing that happened to him thirty years later.
Bosse makes the narrative structure of the novel, the autobiographical game, clear in a picture at the beginning—to clear all questions in this regard for the rest of the evening: As a Kracht-like Joachim Meyerhoff steps first on stage and uses the first minutes of the show to quietly pull yourself out of the author’s jacket, take off Sticky mustache and finally put on a turquoise suit that looks like a dude.
Just don’t let any doubt of realism arise
What’s left is a blonde wig, a shaggy wig. This sets the stage for a very entertaining evening, which certainly does not fully explore the complexity of the novel, but rather uses it as an opportunity for an uninhibited dramatic scene. Anyone who accepts this can have an above-average delight in this evening.
Because Meyerhoff and Winkler, among the many mismatched couples whom the stage loves so much and puts on stage with just the right frequency, is actually one of the greatest couples in a long time. Instead of a taxi, there is – in order not to allow an exaggerated doubt of realism to appear – the aforementioned huge ship, which appears to have come from the Schaubühnen floor specifically for the purpose of providing Meyerhoff and Winkler with similarly prolific toys. The fact that storytelling (a bit like Ibsen’s “Peer Gynt”) forms the crucial bridge between mother and son is something that Boss practically takes at his word, thus rolling out the red carpet for his exceptional actor, which the two are headed to shine.
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No drum, no fender is safe from the talented comedian Meyerhoff, who—equally multiple sarcasm—doesn’t leave a streak of script behind. Here everything is savored, strengthened, comically expanded and lined unrestrictedly with special art. It also makes sense for Meyerhoff and Winkler to make a loud gag of ostomy bag change, which the son has to do over and over again on the mother’s prosthetic anus.
(Upcoming shows from November 21-24 in Berlin Schaubuhnny)
The event in the evening will be Angela Winkler. The way the actress plays tragedy and dignity at the same time, stubborn old age, and cruelty completely devoid of pity, miles away from any doubt in tears, is simply amazing. And by the way – and without the use of ostensible nomenclature – one of these complex female characters is already on stage here, and they are truly in demand everywhere at the moment. Often these are exhausted in the reality of the stage in slogans and affirmations.
One of the nice last words of the evening was how author Christian Kracht finally appeared on stage, though not in a jacket, but in a visible at least very similar costume, to the last applause and involuntarily pointing to the beginning with his appearance when Meyerhof was still imitating him. Great cheers at Schaubühne, for both Kracht and for the stage setting. Especially for this representative dream team.