theater criticism “Aivanov” in BE: Trister Komödienstadt in the tennis club

theater criticism “Ivanov” B.E

A boring comedy bar at a tennis club


22.01.23 Sunday | 09:25 | from Fabian Wallmayer

Image: Matthew Horne

Jana Ross performs Chekhov’s “Ivanov” for the Berliner Ensemble at the clubhouse in Gütersloh. A high-speed get together that’s unnerving in its rawness. Fabian Wallmayer

A privileged however indebted younger man in a Russian village is tired of self-pity and phrases. He ignores cash issues and prefers to hang around at buddies’ homes as a substitute of going to the spa together with his terminally ailing spouse. He has an affair with an acquaintance’s younger daughter, and his spouse, boyfriend, and physician are secretly following him. A girl dies, needs to marry her daughter, however has a conscience and shoots herself.

That’s just about the plot of Anton Chekhov’s Ivanov — and don’t be concerned, there’s nothing improper with it at first, as a result of Jana Ross’ manufacturing at the Berliner Ensemble, which premiered Saturday night time, takes a barely completely different flip. Ross and his group have radically reworked Chekhov’s textual content into what it’s right this moment.

the scene is turned off
Image: Matthew Horne

Instead of varied venues in the Russian provinces, the three-hour get together will happen completely at the tennis club in Gütersloh. All the characters have fashionable German names, however Chekhov’s counterpart from the unique is in parentheses in the program booklet so to simply learn and examine them. Ivanov, for instance, is named Nikolay right here. While Chekhov couldn’t clearly distinguish between comedy and tragedy, and later rewrote the textual content, Ross depends completely on the former.

Like Simon Stone, solely smaller

With its excessive pace, Ross’s “Ivanovy” is harking back to the traditional rewrites that Australian Simon Stone has been dealing with for years with nice success in German-speaking levels. (At BE, for instance, a couple of years in the past he composed a “Greek trilogy” of three historic dramas.) But whereas Stone retains his wealthy heroes in the cool rooms of modernist noble structure, clearly polished evil, Ross is much less. numbers are smaller.

The tennis club home, in its low-cost dilapidation, exhibits right here the unhappy simplicity with which the figures present their presence. When attending a celebration, there’s karaoke, pity get together hats, and plenty of pictures from plastic liquor trays. And in the previous, somebody at all times complained, the events have been a lot better anyway.

Ivanov’s colleague Nicholas (Peter Molzen) is a hypochondriac and self-pitying talker. He reclines in his ash-gray velor swivel chair and says he will get an on the spot headache when he remembers his money owed or when others attempt to power him to look after his cancer-stricken spouse Sarah (Constanz Becker).

Has grown dramatically

The night shortly turns into a really unhappy comedy city. Everything that’s mentioned all day in a clubhouse like that is placed on the desk right here. But Ross derives no inspiration or realization from the melancholy expectation, solely grossly heightens it.

Two examples: In a circle of chairs, for instance, everybody has to say which phrase they do not need to hear anymore as a result of it turns them on – and there is a yawning, boring, hard-hitting alternate between the woke up youth and the drunk “You”. will nonetheless be” faction. Second instance: Meanwhile, the absurdity of social media ought to be proven repeatedly in the type of younger influencer Marta (Zoë Valks), however the satires are so easy and linguistically sloppy that they themselves turn out to be hidden. insignificance.

David Foster Wallace can not help it both

After the break, Ross weaves in a couple of surreal sequences with nightfall and fog, however then instantly switches to the unnerving Stadl, so nothing is held again right here both. Some literary references additionally appear misplaced. For instance, David Foster Wallace, tennis participant and writer of the tennis-starring e book Endless Fun, seems no less than twice: From a purely visible perspective, you possibly can acknowledge him in his svelte kind. , the long-haired flight attendant Michael (Maximilian Diehl) – and an extended direct quote at the very starting and at the finish with ideas about lobsters dying in a pot. But all this doesn’t assist to lift the get together to a better degree.

The ten-piece ensemble throws itself into extreme monotony with apparent relish, however there’s not a lot to spare right here. One of the uncommon vivid spots is Jonathan Kempf Jürgen, the physician and confidant of the ailing Sara, who needs to depart Gütersloh after finishing his annual contract. Again and once more, he says with unerring disdain what most of the viewers thinks of the hysterical talkers on stage. “Do you actually suppose it is so humorous now,” he as soon as requested.

So Jurgen, in the event you ask me: No, I do not suppose it is humorous.

Message: rbb24, 22.01.2023, 7.55

Contributed by Fabian Wallmayer


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