The German theatre group Rimini Protokoll sets new boundaries for what theater is and challenge their audience with the ‘performance’ “Call Cutta in a Box.” Alone in a room, with telephone in hand you start a conversation with a person on the other side o

By Josèphine Renard Vagnkjær

08.10.2008 /

You are welcomed into an apartment in Frederiksberg. A man shows you into a room that looks exactly like a perfectly normal office space in a private home. The man closes the door behind you, informing you: “in a little while the phone will ring, and all you have to do is answer it.” True enough, the door has barely closed before the phone rings. “Hello, this is Calcutta calling,” says a woman’s voice with a thick Indian accent, and thus a conversation with an Indian call center agent begins. This reviewer had the pleasure of speaking with Sarasi, who told me about her daily life, her life, her boyfriend, and her working conditions and asked questions in return, which subtly made me reflect on my privileged position in the great globalization show.
Call Cutta in a Box is a fanciful, interactive theatre installation, where you as audience are forced to let go and become participant. The element of uncertainty is stimulating and unique, but still safe. As audient you are part of the theatre experience, an actor who keeps the adventure going, because without you the experience doesn’t exist.
Behind this interactive production is the German theatre and performance group Rimini Protokoll, which consists of Stefan Kaegi, Daniel Wetzel, and Helgard Haug. The latter is the performance’s director. Their mission has always been to break theatre conventions, and they certainly accomplish this. One leaves the apartment in Frederiksberg with a strange pensiveness, and a question about “what precisely have I just participated in?” hovers in the air. The theatre elite has named the group one of today’s most ground breaking and trend-setting endeavors when it comes to theatre as an intervention into reality, and the group and “Call Cutta in a Box” have won awards and praise on its travels across Europe’s theatre scenes. The mission of breaking down the rules of the theatre is accomplished.


Call Cutta in a Box