Von Die Welt
23.08.2004 / Die Welt
YOU'RE ALL UNEMPLOYED NOW - FAREWELL; SEE YA; BUT NOT AT THE THEATRE Kampnagel: Former Employees of the Airline Sabena perform with the Directors' Team Rimini Protokoll the Drama of their Lives Die Welt (August, 23rd 2004) “Go home and follow the news” was all the company's management of the Belgium Airline Sabena had to say on the day of their bankruptcy. Not a single personal word. 12 000 people lost their job on November, 7th 2001. It is an economic and social drama, material for the news, but not necessarily for a theatre play, as one could assume. The German directors' team, Rimini Protokoll, however takes its theatricality not from reality at the Laokoon Festival, Kampnagel. They do not use actors as protagonists in their documentary theatre. The protagonists are seven people directly affected, so-called “experts on specific situations of life”. This time there is a former stewardess, a former air-traffic controller, a security officer, who recall their last flight and talk about their lives after the Sabena-crash. At the beginning, a few Ping-Pong balls fly above the audience's heads. The table-tennis team of the company must have been pretty good, and it still exists. At the end, circles without a noise. It is remote-controlled by the former flight engineer who was just about to do his pilot-exam at the time of bankruptcy. The fear of not-flying creates odd situation in the every-day life. The man of the former catering service sells gherkins, shaped like an airbus and passes them through the audience. Dates and facts break through personal confessions like flight paths while the stage is marked by lights and turned into a runway. The face of the stewardess Myriam Reitanos was on the front pages on the day after the flop. She gave interviews on her worries about her adopted daughter. Now little Deborah is also on stage sorting the Ping-Pong balls. In the background there is a Sabena-poster showing a smiling stewardess with a child on her arms. That's how Rimini Protokoll mixes reality and game in an amusing way. The people on stage charmingly establish their outlines, and convince with sincere presentations. This is no theatre to create awkwardness. And as the seven “experts on life” exit politely, just as you're accustomed to from aeroplanes, you would like to thank each of them personally - for this wonderful evening of theatre.