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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Même Guevara s’habille en Prada

by Marie-José Sirach

Falk Richter’s {Trust} in Avignon

Even Che will wear nothing but Prada

Translated Wednesday 21 July 2010, by Isabelle Métral and reviewed by Bill Scoble

The Schaubühne was back in Avignon recently [1] with Trust, a virulent comedy that lampoons capitalism on all its fronts.

Falk Richter is associate dramatist with the Schaubühne in Berlin. And stage-director. Two of his plays are performed in this year’s in. One, titled Secret Garden, was staged in collaboration with Stanislas Nordey …the other, the object of this review, with choreographer Anouk van Dijk. Its title Trust is a double-barrel shot since the word designates both faith (reliance), and one of capitalism’s most voracious monopolistic monsters.

From our special correspondent

Falker is a bold fellow; he is never at a loss for words and will stop at nothing. Like assailing capitalism on all fronts, whether economic, political, or intimate. He is not content with talking about the crisis but will shoot on sight at corruption, dishonest compromise, renouncement, in a choreographed whirligig, and to an exhilarating orchestration, both cruel and funny, pathetic and voluble. Billions of euro fly away, pile up, are left on the back seats of a taxi, or vanish into thin air. The world is a vast market where everything can be traded, where human relations are either sold off or sold for a profit, on the most virtual of markets, depending on whether the tendency is bullish or bearish. I love you, I love you no longer; I’m back, I’m off.

Such is Richter’s theme in the play: life’s precariousness, when men and women are forced to live permanently in a state of hysterical affective stress, a dehumanization that spares no one. And so bodies will grope along, fall from exhaustion, stand up again. This is individualism carried to excess, the inability to go toward others, mankind crushed, looking desperately for a way out, for an emergency exit. One actress says she buys her T-shirts from Prada and wears them in the street, but that it does not make her any happier…This scene takes us somewhere on Facebook, with lots of friends around. Hurray! But one is alone in this world.…

The figures on stage dance, talk, sing uninterruptedly. Without a pause. The enchaînement is perfect, from dance to dialogue, and all the rest. Actors, dancers, musicians (there are eleven of them on stage) fill the space brilliantly. The scenography is unassuming enough, but it delimits the territory judiciously. And that is what really matters. For the collaboration between the choreographer and the author, the way their respective, though complicit, approaches enrich each other, relieve the play’s meaning of all triteness. The tension strikes sparks, flashes of merriment and fury, makes bodies supple, and gives voices inflections that keep up our curiosity. The impact of the crisis, as staged here, results in no paralysis. Where all this leads remains unclear; we are at a loss as to what to do; but in Richter’s plays one keeps tearing along, headlong, out of anger, or desire, spurred on by one political question after another.

And it does you a world of good.

[1before going on a tour that will take it to Germany, the Netherlands, and France at the “Perspectives” festival in Forbach

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