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Crying out the mutual desparation

Theresa Steininger

Singing, shouting and crying out the mutual desparation of all women, the performer in Nicole Beutler´s „1: Songs“ becomes the personification of famous suffering examples of her sex. In her piece, which Beutler created together with Sanja Mitrovic and Gary Shepherd, Mitrovic is on an almost empty stage, only having five microphones she switches in between. She sings different songs, many of them in some kind psychedelic. The creators have chosen rock music to bring to stage different stories of suffering, like Gretchen´s (of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe´s „Faust“) Marie´s (of Georg Büchner´s „Woyzeck“) or the antique Antigone. Mitrovic cites from Faust, bringing the famous words of Gretchen´s last monologue into a quiet, but agressive rock song. After showing a – in relation to the others – rather simple situation „Please god, let him call me“ with her head in her neck, agression takes over the whole evening, she cries out her wishes, her despariation – „I want everything of life“, but then „If not, I want to die“. This strong situation is cut by a s short „Okay“, she comes to the next scene. Mitrovic barks, pretends to undress, but doesn´t, tells the audience „Watch me vanish“ and in a strong situation moves as if being shot by a machine-gun. She jumps around without any obvious reason, suddenly throws all microphones to the floor, says sorry and comes to a very quiet Shoop-shouwada-song.

 

Beutler´s/Mitrovic´s performance brings a lot of impressions to stage, some of them very strong, still the red line through the evening was too weak, the topics she had chosen had been presented too often before. Giving the desparation of women a voice, bringing discontend with the world around us to the stage, with the final claim „More than machinery, we need humanity, more than cleverness, we need kindness, we all think too much and feel too little“, which seems important, but also naive after all that came before, the impression remains that of a partly strong performance, but not one that affects – because it is then just one of many.

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