Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Theater Basel | Schlaraffenland (the land of milk and honey)

In Schlaraffenland, Philipp Löhle applies Grimms land of milk and honey to todays world.
On stage there is a large house and there lives a family that has everything and lives a luxurious life. They can get anything they desire whenever they desire it and the only thing they worry about is their lives and their luxury problems.
During the whole play you can see people dressed in black walking around the house and behind the scenes, providing the family with everything they wish for.
When one night the son has an experience of enlightenment, his whole conception of the world changes and he starts to realize that everything he consumes has to be produced somewhere else by someone and that whenever something comes cheap somebody else has to pay the price.
For us this is a very important and current play as it gives everyone in the audience the option to overthink their own consumer behaviour.
When at the very beginning the narrator addresses the audience directly, during the play there is no direct confrontation between actors and audience. In the first part of the play all of the actors (except for the narrator and the people in black) wear large masks, which gives them a certain anonymity and creates a distance between the actors and the audience. During the play, the masks are removed and the characters become more like real persons and therefore it makes it easier to connect with them. Also when the masks are removed the costumes change to 70ies hippie outfits, what we think is very suitable for the topic of changing one's view and protesting against the system, it is even more noticeable because the one who has changed his view is the only one not dressed like this.
The last part of the play is again more confrontational and even provocative, giving many thought-provoking impulses.
The actors where very strong and we liked the production a lot as we felt there was a certain development in the storyline that brought the topic closer and closer to the audience until it confronted us directly in the end, leaving us with much to reflect upon and think about. As todays consumer behaviour and the indifference towards certain problems are topics that concern us a lot, this play impressed us very much and we hope that it will influence many people who see it at least a little bit in their way of thinking and consuming.

production: Claudia Bauer
stage and costumes: Dirk Thiele
stage setting assistance: Frederik Constantin Schweizer
music: Peer Baierlein
light: Cornelius Hunziker
dramatic composition: Sabrina Hofer

Mario Fuchs as SON / BLACK MAN
Vincent Glander as SON
Leonie Merlin Young as DAUGHTER
Florian von Manteuffel as FATHER
Nicola Kirsch as MOTHER
Pia Händler as SONS WIFE
Ingo Tomi as UNCLE

© picture: Sandra Then

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