Das Wetter (The Weather), Thalia Theater, Hamburg, 2018schließen
The weather, poetically strong, erratic like April weather and at times impenetrable like autumn fog, suggests how in the sun-earth-moon triangle everything is connected to everything else and will forever remain unpredictable: the magic and curse of the world, as it were.
Every evening, the NDR’s weather man, Frank Böttcher, forecasts tomorrow’s weather on the television. Like a magician, he stands in front of the weather map and predicts the future. On Das Wetter performance days, he takes his entire studio and its team to Thalia Theater and broadcasts his show from the stage. But there is something fishy going on with his show: shortly before the recording begins, he disappears briefly in his mask once more. But this takes longer than planned – much longer. While his master is gone, his student Niels Möhle takes the reins – and unintentionally throws the weather studio’s technical apparatus into chaos. During his attempts to bring the studio under control again, a group of fourth graders suddenly appears, which causes further havoc. Trying not to disappoint his surprised guests, Niels Möhle conjures up a show and gradually transforms the studio into a fairy-tale-like weather theatre. But the spirits that he calls are difficult to get rid of …
There has been a relationship between the theatre and the weather since time immemorial, because, for a long time, the theatre had no roof above its head. It took place outdoors, directly beneath the eyes of the gods. Wind and weather were natural components of the Dionysia; thunder and lightning played themselves in the tragedy. The move into permanent buildings shut the sky out of the theatre. At the same time, attempts were made to recreate the effects of the weather and to make them available within the theatre apparatus as light, fog, rain, snow and wind. Humans play god in the theatre. Das Wetter is the entertaining story of this eternal hubris in a world where it seems like nothing is left to chance anymore.
Das Wetter is the second part of the series ‘Theatre of Truth’, which began with the Tagesschau news programme. Even more so than the news, the weather forecast tries to get it right every day, but continuously fails at reality. It is itself exceptionally fictional – which is not to say that it is a lie: it is the theatre of truth. ‘The weather forecast is a show: 10% information, 90% entertainment’ (Frank Böttcher).
Premiere on 19 May 2018 at Thalia Theater Hamburg. Further performances on 30.05.18, 11.06.18, 05.09.18, 18.09.18 & 27.10.18.
With Frank Böttcher, Pauline Heinrichs, Bekim Latifi and Class 4c at Loki Schmidt School. Script writer and director: Jan Philipp Stange, stage design: Jakob Engel, costume design: Anthoula Bourna, video: Jonas Alsleben, dramaturgy: Matthias Günther, sound design: Jakob Spengemann, assistant director: Lasse Awe, equipment assistant: Bettina Kirmair, childcare: Teresa Rosenkrantz, prompter: Friederike Zörner | photos by Krafft Angerer