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Monday, November 28, 2022

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Theater in the Sophiensäle: unlimited horizon

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“I always had the wish not to be human,” confesses Charlotte on her 88th birthday. “Nothing is more human,” replies her extremely understanding care robot. The humanoid service provider not only takes care of the celebrity with schnapps and gifts, he also takes everything he can from her.

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For example crying. Instead of Charlotte, he sheds a few tears of joy over the beautiful day – and catches up on the bitter tears she couldn’t shake when she was “50 and completely alone and helpless”. If it doesn’t have a heart, then this robot has circuitry made of gold. And a well-filled water tank.

The scene comes from the evening “Crazy for Consolation” by Thorsten Lensing, which has now celebrated its Berlin premiere in the Sophiensäle after the world premiere at the Salzburg Festival in the summer. Lensing’s brilliant David Foster Wallace free jazz “Infinite Fun” was last seen here four years ago, which was subsequently invited to the Theatertreffen.

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Now the director – established as an idiosyncratic exegete of classics with productions such as “Karamasov” or “Kirschgarten” – has written a play himself for the first time. One that looks full of curiosity at the human condition, that tells of loneliness as a basic condition and the inability to establish real closeness to other living beings – and that, especially in the first part, is always staggeringly funny (Next performances: October 2, 7 to 9, at 7 p.m ).

Lensing has brought together four of his regulars – Ursina Lardi, Sebastian Blomberg, André Jung and Devid Striesow – who, in changing roles, ignite a theatrical extravaganza that has not been seen for a long time. In the beginning we meet the ten and eleven-year-old siblings Charlotte and Felix (Lardi and Striesow) on the beach, where the enormous metal cylinder that Gordian Blumenthal and Ramun Capaul have placed on the empty stage embodies the waves.

The two dream of animals

In a tried and tested ritual, the children imitate their own parents and their familiar, frivolous interactions with one another. For a sad reason: mother and father are dead. As is the case with children’s games, the events do not need a reason and the horizons of imagination are unlimited.

The two of them dream of animals, an orangutan and a turtle – and just watching the accuracy with which André Jung depicts his monkeys and Sebastian Blomberg the reptile is worth the whole evening. The art of metamorphosis is no longer so highly valued in the theatre. Here you can see what is lost as a result.

The scenes merge into one another, a diver with an obsession with poetry and a crisis of meaning appears (“Because I have nothing to say to the world, I speak in five-footed iambics”). A book he’s reading opens the door to a parking lot where a baby can’t expect anything good from the world. And all of a sudden childhood is over.

In the second part you can experience how Felix struggles for relationships as an emotionally numb adult. And how Charlotte, with a care robot at her side, comes to terms with herself. Sure, here and there “Crazy for Trost” is a little aphoristic, in the end very Christian. On the other hand, it’s not every day that an evening at the theater wants to inspire hope.

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Source: Tagesspiegel

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