Emre Akal and Rieke Süßkow have prepared the perfect present for nationalists this winter.
They are a little bit late for Christmas, but their stock will certainly not last long. The demand is high this season for traditional Germanic families in aseptically isolated homes. They stand still and smile like figures in a snow globe. Or rather like figures in a Polly Pocket dollhouse come out of the 1990s, with a cat and all furniture included. This particular set is light blue, but they probably come in other colours as well.
The barbed wire and embroidered jumpers of the first production gave Heimat in Dosen a postwar look. Now, the pre-recorded sounds and plastic clothes (including the hair) make the actors look like toys. It feels as if someone is pressing a fixed number of buttons to make them move and speak. The father (Burak Uzuncimen) reads the newspaper and exclaims how extremely well they are doing. The mother (Julia Carina Wachsmann) cooks, knits, and waters the plants. Their child (Philipp Stix) laughs in his bathing basin and plays with his yo-yo. And they do so over and over again, reproducing their neat little household routine protected from all external influences.
Yet there is something that threatens this prefabricated paradise from within. The mother’s memories and the boy’s curiosity slowly start undermining the family’s consensus. How is it outside? Can you remember how it was before? How can we know that we are happy, if we have never experienced anything different? And also implicitly: Who has decided what lies inside and what lies outside our ‘home’? Heimat in Dosen ridicules contemporary European nativism, much as Orwell’s 1984 ridiculed the communism of its day.
Summary: A stimulating conceptual play, coherently staged, although difficult to follow at times due to its repetitiveness.
HEIMAT IN DOSEN
von Emre Akal
Regie: Rieke Süßkow und Emre Akal
Bühnen- und Kostümbild: Lukas Fries
Kostümmalerei: Raffaela Schöbitz
Sounddesign: Paul Wolff
Regieassistenz: Raffaela Schöbitz, Melanie Lyn
Sounddoublage: Melanie Lyn
Es spielen: Philipp Stix, Burak Uzuncimen, Julia Carina Wachsmann
Foto: © Barbara Palffy und © Andreas Friess