Sibylle Berg

Und jetzt: die Welt ! Oder: Es sagt mir nichts das sogenannte Draußen (i.e. And Now: the World! – The So-Called Outside Means Nothing to Me)

They are clever, well-educated and live in precarious circumstances because the umpteenth internship doesn’t pay anything. They sell home-made drugs on the Internet, write fashion blogs and increase the market value of their bodies at the gym, even though they despise the market. They communicate via Skype, SMS, chat and phone, and yet remain haunted by the feeling of an overwhelming loneliness. In Sibylle Berg’s Text für eine Person und mehrere Stimmen (i.e. Text for One Person and Several Voices), a young woman draws up the following balance of her life up to now: then a member of a brutal girl gang, now peaceful yoga; then awkward smooching with boys in tent camps, now gender issues and the projects “sex” and “love” with men or women; then lofty ideals, now pragmatism. Longing is something she knows mainly from films, the family a combine she assembles herself, while always the world is lurking outside, making demands and dictating images that are impossible to satisfy.

Mercilessly, and at the same time with great tenderness, Berg portrays four women in their early twenties, who, vacillating between aggression and apathy, awakening and disenchantment, are unsure what they should fight for, and for whom the word ‘we’ already evokes a warranted scepticism.
(Rowohlt Theaterverlag)

Comments on the play:

In many places, you think you hear the author as a fictional character, the pointed web analyst and SPON columnist Sibylle Berg, rather than an ‘angry young woman’ approximately in her mid-twenties. But who would want to rate the two: the well-nigh youthful wrath of the poet and the aplomb of precocious years? […]

The Bergian revenge fantasies of the protagonist glitter with scurrility! She has, it is said, founded a flat share with two companions, ‘my self-assembled family’, and nonchalantly declares what they have (or perhaps would like to have) chalked up to their credit. Check it out: bloody nocturnal beatings of defenceless, smaller men and drug trafficking on the Internet along with studying marketing. Hats off! This is the beat of the gutter remixed with theory-saturated intellectuality. And, finally, you must really take a look at the photo: at the actresses, who, despite fat suits under their clothes, give rather the mental impression of being as hard-hitting as boxers. In its celebrative contradictoriness, Es sagt mir nichts das sogenannte Draußen is a screamingly funny evening.
(Christian Rakow in Nachtkritik, 23.11.2013)


’The So-Called Outside Means Nothing to Me’ […] is a sentence as vague as is the sense of life of those who pronounce it. The four women probably don’t know themselves what it means, and it is exactly with this uncertainty they must now cope. With this commenced existence. With this yearning for a ‘love context’. With this waiting for a meaning that never comes. But not to worry: this isn’t Beckett. This is Sibylle Berg […], who always wrests a smile even from the ridiculous. It can also sometimes be a smirk. Es sagt mir nichts das sogenannte Draußen is a wild picaresque about the sense of life in the centrifuge of the affluent society. […] At times the text sounds like a column marathon, hyperbolic, in love with its own punchlines – but it sounds splendid. Fixed characters or dialogue don’t exist. Ever since René Pollesch and Elfriede Jelinek, theatre people call this sort of thing ‘text areas’. In these areas a production can surf marvellously well, fast-paced, gambling and intense.
(Stephan Reuter, 2014 yearbook of Theater Heute)

Technical Data:

Premiere 23.11.2013 Maxim Gorki Theater, Berlin, in cooperation with junges theater basel
Director Sebastian Nübling
Cast variable, minimum 1 woman
Rights Rowohlt Theater Verlag
Hamburgerstraße 17
21465 Reinbek bei Hamburg
Tel. +49 40 7272270
Fax +49 40 7272276
Mail Symboltheater@rowohlt.de
Translations Theatre library