Every year at the end of Theatertreffen, a young actress or actor is awarded the Alfred Kerr for a special achievement. The award, funded at € 5,000, is presented by the Alfred Kerr Foundation in memory of the great Berlin theater critic and supported by a daily mirror. The juror this year was actress Valery Cheplanova. In earlier years, she made guest appearances at Theatertreffen with productions by Dimiter Gotscheff and Frank Castorf, and Edith Clever’s chosen one herself won the Kerr Award in 2014.
I was allowed to see ten performances and ten times I was amazed. Most of all, I was amazed at the still vivid punch line and the art of timing, and the intertwining of young and old theater makers who happily pushed butter away from bread in “Tartuffe”. I was delighted with the humble and immediate willingness to tell a story like The Man in His Class.
Some theater makers seem to still be seated at the rehearsal table
I admired the filigree Japanese miniature “Donuts” (Thalia Theater Hamburg), which was crammed with a handful of Europeans who, amazed and joyfully grappled with punch lines, and the fact that reading the text together was a Theatrical process can go as in “It’s okay. Good night”.
I was also amazed at the countless little crooked curves, dead ends, detours and intersections in Schauspiel Hannover’s “New Life”, but even more that the bears’ share of the stage time was not devoted to people, but to lamp circulation.
Then I also admired myself. I couldn’t let the strange actors touch me and obey me, even though I had bought a ticket describing the process as a theatrical performance. I left the “rest” three hours later.
Finally, I was surprised that some theater makers seemed to me still sitting at the rehearsal table or only seemingly got up and entered the stage as if they were going to sell me a half finished shoe and should be responsible for explaining why the shoe wasn’t finished and paying the full price for the unfinished shoe.
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Besides, I couldn’t understand why the 200-year-old narrative that was described as outdated on the stage (in “The Maid of Orleans”) is still under discussion. Meanwhile, countless poets waved their pencils, so you can surely find a suitable narrative. Until now, it also seemed to me that singing in the theater was singing different, direct, unamplified, unadorned, and if I liked rehearsals and playing, I did not lack video support, microphones and pompous costumes for myself. Colleagues in the pop industry definitely have a better budget for such utensils.
And if it is a discourse, if it is theoretical songs, it is as outrageously ostentatious, charming and lively as in “Like Lovers Do”. I was amazed that so many drastic words in colorful packaging evoke something akin to joyful forgiveness.
I also saw young people, many young people who wanted and were able to play characters and smuggled into the audience the desire to tell about a person or character – without the stage discourse and director’s ambitions.
Nikolai Gemel, who silently takes human life in “The Man in His Class”, Phillip Grimm, Jannik Hinsch and Henriette Hölzel, who removes the roof from the Dresden theater at “Tartuffe”, Annemarie Brüntjen, who sketches Joan of Arc for twenty minutes, Vassilissa Reznikoff, who dreams of herself as Agnes in “A Girl from Orleans”, Gro Swantje Kohlhof, who plays in the cinema without a camera in “Like Lovers Do”, Vadina Popov, who in “Slippery Slope” at the Maxim Gorki Theater actually does not need autotuning, Anna Drexler, who in “Neues Leben” cheats time on stage in competition with this lamp, and Johannes Hegemann, who as a Japanese hotelier (“Donuts”) feels at home in a strange mood.
And then there was “humanistää!”. A human poem full of painful jokes and linguistic dance, and the ensemble I would like to transfer Penunsen in its entirety from the Kerr Award. But there is: a difference.
Samouil Stoyanov, what precision and grace. At the beginning, when it was still covered with a mask, I asked myself who was dancing such a tongue ready to fight. Then there was a lot of good teamwork and then a great monologue, and Samouil Stoyanov of the Viennese Volkstheater turns Ernst Jandl’s clever, rare sentences into a deliberate feat of strength, sweats our tongue and chills us, omitting the word “third”. .
I just thought, dear heavens, don’t let him be 50 years old, because from five to 50 years old I saw different age groups, genders and shapes in this amazing being. So, after the last applause, quickly go out onto the street and google Samouil Soyanov 33. Bingo, Kerrpreis 2022 goes to Samouil Stoyanov!