By Thomas Linden
16.11.2002 / Kölner Rundschau
Sometimes, theatre is especially gripping if it has nothing to do with what you usually find on stage. Such was the production which opened the Festival Impulse for the eleventh time. It presents a selection of the finest German-speaking theatre productions by independent companies. These pieces are shown in Bochum, Düsseldorf, Mühlheim and Cologne, and the beginning was now celebrated with “Shooting Bourbaki” – a production of the Lucerne Theatre.
Five boys (Valentin Erni, Thomas Hostetter, Diego Krauss, Ahmend Mehdi and Adrian Seitz) who are just before puberty dominate the stage. It is not a story with the common story-telling structures, but a show which is let loose by the five. There is singing and little scraps, experiences are exchanged or videos presented: It is a cornucopia of images, texts and sounds without the boys stopping not stopping for even a moment. Their fascination with shooting is their connecting element.
This is a fascination the youths share with many adults, and video tapes of a shooting range are also shown. You can not always separate seriousness from play. This becomes funny when the boys accompany the images with passages from “Star Wars”, for instance. With this production the directors’team Helgard Haug, Stefan Kaegi and Daniel Wetzel not only shake the borderlines of theatre, but juggle playfully and with relish with aesthetic conventions.
A show full of images and sounds let loose by the five boys on stage.
This is an aspect which is described as one of the characteristics of the Impulses by Dietmar N. Schmidt, who is the director of the cultural office of Nordrhein-Westfahlen. Fruitful experiments are presented here, and Schmidt believes that this also explains the newly awakened interest of the Stadttheater (local theatres) who with their numerous co-productions seek contact with the independent fringe scene. The minister of culture of NRW, Michael Vesper, pointed out the strong interest of the audience for this particular festival in spite of the flood of festivals NRW experienced that year.
In this way, the Swiss lent themselves as excellent ambassadors to the independent fringe scene who has the courage for new forms of presentation. The effective images don’t simply “sell” the theme of Lucerne, but they present it in its true conciseness.
Length of the play: 80 minutes, no intermission