Stay@Home with ZKM´s famed 2015. Production of Ernst Toller's Black Mirror Moving

Theatre in the times of Corona

Come now, come

Through the thickening fire, into the violent night

(Jerome Reuter, Families of Eden)


As the opening lines of Elvis Prestley´s In The Ghetto rollover in the deep voice of Ozren Grabaric as Master Of The Ceremony, the scene of ZKM is closing over the capture of Ernest Hinkemann as newly found circus attraction and the lining of a post-war schematisation of reality. This is the Hinkemann by Igor Vuk Torbica, entirely abysmal with a touch of bitterness in underplaying sardonicism. This is a choking expressivity with which the survival, martyrs or humanity becomes one prolonged scream in a bath of picturesque try for structuralization. This is Ernst Toller´s cry between the prison walls that will well over eternity, softening the bestiality of the twentieth century into an angry beauty of human rebellion. The first bridge is made, by the cold wind in Chicago and a cripple meeting a eunuch. What follows is the Europa spitting out like a curse.


What of the story, one might ask? A man, Hinkemann –played by Rakan Rushaidat, an actor so transformed in the two and a half hours of the ceremony, he emerges as otherworldly- comes back from a war, his wife Grete-played by all-too beautiful Mia Melcher coming straight for it all- all burning with desire alive without his intimate parts. Worry not, there are about thirty seconds of peace before the killing ensues under the first throbbing of the lights Torbica uses so well in shaping the being. Una Lagrima Sul Viso played eminently enhanced by brother Siknauz´s noise intervention. Everything is set between soul and hidden parts that are missing, so that a man, a single man, is made weak by the space he takes up, not being killed he is left in remnants to scourge, by the society that leaves him levitating in grey areas, by the urges he tries to comply and compress in an all-consuming breaking. Looking for solace here makes no difference. But, there is a castrating, chomped up the rhythm of actions combining working class epitome with an exquisite taste for grotesque that, surprisingly, fits the stripping of the layers from the discomforting playground of reality. No other director and no other crew could have taken over this rich, historically brazen sound of a drama made in prison, prisoned for over two hours. If you are asking for a recession, think again and muster up. There are no pauses here!

© Grgo Jelavic/PIXSELL