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Blog Archive

Where Ye From?

by Growler

Meet Growler, the 82-year-old drum banging, shamanic vulva from the Liberties in Dublin.

Wise as witches with a tongue like a lash and a heart of gold, she will take you on an alchemical theatrical journey.

Using storytelling, song, spoken word and filthy jokes, her mission is to give voice to the voiceless and to transmute the shite out of the female collective trauma.

“The beauty of Growler is in its roughness, its erratic meandering, its refusal to be one thing or another. It has a sacred chaos of its own, in which Mulrooney thrives.”
The List

The Examination

by Brokentalkers

“I’d like the people to know I’m not an animal. Did I cause harm? Yes. Should I be punished? Of course. But do I deserve my human rights? Absolutely I do.”

The Examination is the award-winning production by Brokentalkers exploring mental health and human rights in the prison system, performed by Brokentalkers’ Gary Keegan and stand-up comedian and former prisoner Willie White.

Featuring Brokentalkers’ distinctive blend of biography, socio-political discourse and breathtaking theatricality, The Examination draws on historical research and testimony from current and former prisoners. With powerful imagery and a visceral soundscape, The Examination is an uncompromising and revelatory interrogation of an aspect of society too often ignored.

The Examination is the outcome of a 12-month research period that saw Brokentalkers’ directors Gary Keegan and Feidlim Cannon hold theater workshops and interviews with life sentence prisoners and former prisoners in various settings including Mountjoy Prison and PACE Training and Education Services. They have also drawn on wider historical analysis undertaken by Associate Professor Catherine Cox (UCD) and Professor Hilary Marland.

Best Production – Irish Times Theatre Awards 2020

Best Soundscape (Denis Clohessy) – Irish Times Theatre Awards 2020

Best Production – Dublin Fringe Festival 2019

Best Performer (Willie White) – Dublin Fringe Festival 2019

⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Superbly slippery piece of theatre” – The Stage
⭐⭐⭐⭐ “No easy escapes in Brokentalkers’ sly, provocative play” – The Irish Times
⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Again and again, ‘The Examination’ pulls the rug out from under you” – Fest

Brokentalkers was founded in 2001 by Feidlim Cannon and Gary Keegan after graduating from De Montfort University in Leicester. For over a decade, Brokentalkers have been making formally ambitious work that defies categorization and have built a reputation as one of Ireland’s most innovative and original theater companies.
Their working method is founded on a collaborative process that draws on the skills and experiences of a large and diverse group of contributors from different disciplines and backgrounds. Some are professional artists, performers, designers and writers, while others are people who do not usually work in the theater but who brings an authenticity to the work that is compelling.
They make work that responds to the contemporary world, using elements such as original writing, dance, classic texts, film, interviews, found materials and music to represent that world in performance.
Their recent work includes The Boy Who Never Was (Dublin Theatre Festival 2022), MASTERCLASS (Winner: The Scotsman Fringe First Award 2022, premiered at Project Arts Centre as part of Dublin Fringe Festival 2021), The Examination (premiered at Project Arts Centre 2019), Woman Undone (premiered at Project Arts Centre & Mermaid Arts Centre 2018, followed by a national tour in 2019 & 2020), The Circus Animals’ Desertion (Dublin Theatre Festival 2016), This Beach (Munich Kammerspiele, Dublin Fringe Festival 2016, followed by a national tour in 2017), Have I No Mouth (Dublin Fringe Festival 2012, followed by a national & international tour; winner of the Total Theatre Award, Edinburgh 2013) and The Blue Boy (Grand Prix winner, Kontakt Festival, Torun, Poland, 2014).
Brokentalkers have presented their work worldwide in over twenty countries.
Photos: Luca Truffarelli

 

 

 

 

 

TRICKS FOR GOLD (T4$)

Tricks For Gold is a fable set in late capitalism in which the protagonist, a magician, discovers that she can become the object of her desires – money – and tries to transform herself into it.

The performance studies the concept of trick and its ability to manipulate our experience of space and time through layers of virtuosity, exposure, contortion, concealment, self-assurance and vulnerability. The wish is to unravel the empathic potential of what is typically seen as an act of “service” and highlight the melancholia of tricks as not simply a mode of deceiving the audience – but also of the survival of the performer.

With very little spoken language (English)

Pleasure Incorporated

What if sex workers could get drunk at the office Christmas party?

Had colleagues they could gossip with? Went to performance reviews with their managers? Pleasure Incorporated asks what it would be like if the oldest profession in the world was just a regular office job.

Drawn from Jemima’s experience of escorting in Berlin, this lyrical one-woman play fuses live performance with video art to explore Jemima’s personal motivations for selling sex; what it means for her to do the work, and how that spools out into friendships, relationships and society.

Welcome to Pleasure Incorporated. We’re happy to have you here with us on another fine work day.

In English

No Home

This is a mockumentary performance and a film. A diary and a fable.

Yael is an artist who has immigrated to Berlin. She’s broke, tired of babysitting, and afraid her big dreams won’t be fulfilled. She gets an opportunity for a week’s residency, but the night before it starts a sinister character appears in her nightmare, planting a seed of self-doubt that gets bigger and bigger, making her residency a living hell while she is losing grip on reality.

No Home encapsulates the perpetual sense of liminality experienced by an immigrant in a foreign land. With unwavering hope, she strives to create her haven within the enigmatic backdrop of Berlin. Her daily existence is a relentless battle against the challenges of communication, financial constraints, bureaucracy, and waning motivation.

In this piece, elements of humor, horror and homesickness have been blended to depict a new reality of an immigrant, grappling with the pursuit of her dreams.

In English, German and Hebrew

Best Funeral Ever (My Russian Funeral)

We die alone. We bury together.

This participatory performance that explores the political and theatrical nature of the funeral ritual and deconstructs its settled mechanism. It is a ritual for which it is impossible to be fully prepared, but during this rehearsal any last wish can be fulfilled.

The audience is invited to join the scripted burial ceremony, turn on their common memory of the ritual and bring in their differences of cultures and societies. To rehearse, to
deconstruct, to discuss they will have the conflicted Russian body of the performer whose last wish is to do no more harm and become peaceful compost.

In English

Please note that there are only a very limited number of seats available per performance. There are two separate performances on February 17,  at 5pm and at 8pm.

Natasha Borenko is a Siberian-born fluid theater maker and queer feminist migrant artist who sees participatory art as a tool to deconstruct the system and rehearse the change.

Four-Course Meal ~Hot Pot~

Chōri (調理, 조리, Kochen) is a collective of East Asian artists. Using culinary metaphors, Chōri Collective serves up a hot pot stage inspired by the Asian culinary culture where all dishes are placed together on one table, to get us through the long winter. Through the recipe, which is a living archive and a metaphor for score, three ingredients are simmering in the hot pot with the dreams of change. We welcome foodies and ingredients to our collective flavor journey.

In English, Korean and Japanese

Tender Horror

What do blizzards, hormonal changes and folklore have in common? How does ritual merge with our daily life?

Through surrealist ritual and the examination of the archetypal phases of the feminine, Tender Horror is brought to life.

Tender Horror is conceived of and developed by HOPEFULLY, MAYBE, an emerging international theater group consisting of Josje Eijkenboom, Maureen Gleason, Sigrun Hasselgård Bøe and special guest, Sunniva B. Johansen.

Presented as part of THE LAB, the artist and audience development series at ETB | IPAC, this first public presentation of new work-in-progress will be followed by a post-performance discussion.

Maureen Gleason is an actress and theater artist based in Berlin, Germany. She earned her BFA in studio acting with the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, MN where she studied the classical canon, voice and Roy Hart. After moving to London to study Shakespeare at the Globe Theater, she completed her MFA in Embodied Dramaturgy with Rose Bruford College London. Maureen specializes in dramatic vocal techniques and also works with textiles. (maureenlgleason.com)

 

 

 

Sigrun Hasselgård Bøe is a performer, choreographer and artistic collaborator based in Drammen, Norway. In 2020 she completed her two year-training of Advanced Devising Practice at Arthaus Berlin. In addition, Bøe has a MFA with a specialization in Performing Arts (2018) and a BA in Theatre Education (2016) from The University of Agder, Norway. Bøe is trained in the arts of physical theater and movement, and has a special interest in choreographed theater. She is currently working with the performance SKREI which is to be seen as part of the European Capital of Culture in Bodø 2024. (sigrunhasselgaardboee.com)

 

 

Sunniva Birkeland Johansen is a performer and director from the Lofoten Islands in Norway. In 2020 she completed an MFA in Advanced Devising Practice in collaboration with Rose Bruford College and Arthaus Berlin. She is currently based in Oslo where she works both in the theater and film industry. Sunniva is a part of the duo Birk/Bo produksjoner who focus on creating accessible theater in rural areas of Norway. In 2024. she will be directing and performing SKREI as a part of the “European Capital of Culture” in Bodø as well as continuing her work for Birk/Bo produksjoner. (sunnivabjohansen.com)

 

 

 

Josje Eijkenboom works as an actor and theater maker. She completed her Master Devised Theater and Performance in Berlin in 2019 (London International School of Performing Arts/Arthaus Berlin) She currently specializes in Physical Theater (Embodied Theater and the Poetic Body and Puppetry) Her predilection for Greek tragedies is often reflected in her work. After completing her Bachelor’s degree in The Netherlands (ArtEZ), she traveled to Brazil with TAMTAM Objektentheater, performing at Oerol and various other festivals. Currently she is working on various projects with Duda Paiva Company where she also performs Vergeten, dieren en Ver- loren zaken and Kinderen van het verdwenen Woud. Besides performing she also teaches aerial yoga and pole dance classes. (josje-eijkenboom.nl)

 

 

Ay Kash

Eleven girls use their pens, paints and voices to share their memories and experiences since the Taliban took power in 2021 and offer their hopes and dreams for a better future.

Eleven girls
With our hearts full of hope and desire.
With tears in our eyes and trembling legs, with no way to escape.
We are sitting in our bedrooms in Afghanistan and slowly dying.
Every time we rise to show ourselves, our legs are showered with bullets.
Eleven girls who only ask to be allowed to study, to travel, to let our hair fly in the wind and, from all the riches in this world, own a bicycle. Is it too much to ask? Is it too much if I want to become a psychologist? Or a painter?
Too much if I want to fall in love and have my heart broken? Too much if I prefer freedom over longing?
What it my hair turns grey, and my lips are never kissed?
We never wanted our share of the sky to simply be able to gaze at the moon from our bedroom windows.
I want to swim in the sky. Do I want too much?
Eleven brave warriors, standing against the Taliban’s oppression with our pens, art, poetry, and music.
Ay Kash is the voice of a nation sleeping in blood, the voice of a wounded geography.
Don’t let our desire to swim in the sky, rot in our hearts.
Don’t let the desire to take hold of our pen and fight, disappear.
#StandwithAfghanwomen #ThePeninsteadoftheGun
Text: S
Photo: Rhea Schmitt / Design: F

Since the withdrawal of the US in August 2021, the situation for women in Afghanistan has spiralled into despair. Women do not even have rights to be violated. They have lost the ability to learn, graduate, fall in love, travel alone, go for a walk in the park, or ride a bicycle. Ay Kash / ای کاش / If Only is a hybrid performance featuring live on-stage action and filmed “interaction” with eleven young women in Kabul & Herat, Afghanistan. Their true identities will remain hidden because it is simply too dangerous to do otherwise, but what they want to tell you will be given life and poetic space. And they want to tell you many things: they want to tell you the history of their country from their perspective, their personal stories since the Taliban have taken power, the stories of their mothers, their grandmothers and their hopes and dreams for the future. All this and more will burst into life with the help of song, object theater, storytelling and AI. The performance also features animations designed to protect the identities of the eleven young women by Berlin artist Anna Benner. In addition to the live performance, there is a touring exhibition featuring artwork, texts and soundscapes by the young women.

Under the Starry Afghan Sky are eleven young women aged between 15 – 23 living in Kabul & Heart, Afghanistan under Taliban rule. The collective evolved out of the work of Herat Online School founded by the educational activist Angela Ghayour who herself fled Afghanistan in 1992 and is facilitated by Rachel Karafistan of Cosmino Productions.

The Ay Kash / ای کاش / If Only exhibition featuring artwork, soundscapes and audio recorded by the young women from the Under the Starry Sky collective will take place at Graumaleri, Reuterstraße 82, 12053 Berlin from September 7 – 20. (Vernissage: September 7 at 7pm).

The project is entirely funded by public donations. You can donate to our project HERE.


 

Bowie in Berlin

A Conversation with a Cultural Icon II

In the summer of 1976, pop star David Bowie moves from Los Angeles to Berlin. Why Berlin? Was he attracted by the mixture of Weimar nostalgia, isolated Wall city and niche location for the new music that would later be called Krautrock? In fact, he created radically new music in Berlin in the following two years, recorded both an anthem and a legendary album with `Heroes´, made a curious Weimar-era film with Just a Gigolo, and then disappeared into the pop-synthetic eighties.

“The musical concept of Grosser’s evening works brilliantly …. Just as Bowie’s musical, cinematic and fashionable work has lived from permanent transition and diversity of influence – ready to jump between Krautrock and Expressionism – so is this performance associative and fluid.”     Patrick Wildermann / Tagesspiegel

Great review in Tagesspiegel, read it HERE

In 1987, Bowie returned to Berlin to give a concert in front of the Reichstag, a stone´s throw away from the Wall. East Berliners who came to the Brandenburger Tor to listen started shouting “Bring down the Wall” – the first domino in a series of many that led to the fall of the Wall?

With a performative mixture of music, dance and text, Bowie in Berlin – as the second part of the series `Conversations with a Cultural Icon´ after Jaws / Der weiße Hai –  explores the area where pop touches our lives: as music, as film, as art, as an attitude to life.

Today, the three albums of the so-called `Berlin Trilogy´ are considered the artistic highlight of David Bowie´s career.With his creative curiosity, he went through very different artistic phases in the course of his long career, thus appealing to a new audience each time, and ultimately even to a new generation.

Nowadays, David Bowie is no longer just a pop star, but an important artist, to whom renowned museums dedicated a major exhibition ten years ago. Berlin officials even had a plaque placed on his home in Schöneberg.

Somehow, Bowie touches everyone. How? What does he have to say? What makes him a pop star, what makes him an artist? And why Berlin?