New German dramatic art - Playing time 2011/2012

Lasst euch nicht umschlingen ihr 150 000 000!
(Don’t Let Them Take You In, You 150,000,000!)

Part I: The here and now. A model, a photographer and his female assistant want to recreate Robert Capa’s famous photograph ‘The Falling Soldier’ (which is now known to have been posed). They go ‘on location’ and end up on a banana plantation. This slapstick-style scene scales the heights of inauthenticity; the great campaigns of our age are dedicated not to politics, but to marketing. The three do not come to their senses until they flee into the palms from a fog of insecticide, blind, deaf and speechless. At the same time: An ancient man selling lottery tickets who is on a quest for true happiness meditates on revolution, new beginnings and the ideal way of life. But who would ‘set us to zero’? And would we ‘want such a thing’? Part II: Another planet. The past or the future. To his astonishment, the ancient man finds himself transported to a perfect communist society of the kind propounded by William Morris. Is this happiness? Part III: Summer 2011, the Tunisian awakening, a country going through radical upheavals. A diary describes the search for the seeds of the ‘new age’. How is democracy possible?
(Verlag der Autoren)

Responses to the Play:

‘“Maybe people aren’t really suited for something as narrow-minded as industrialisation.” […]
It is such conjectures and questions that Kevin Rittberger, an intelligent director and young author, has drawn on to develop his play Don’t Let Them Take You In, You 150,000,000! Why do human beings not arrive at some form of society in which they can live? What might a society that was suitable for human beings look like? Can the common good be a maxim of political action?
[…]
What happens over two and a half hours at Frankfurt Schauspiel’s Kammerspiele theatre belongs to a category that is not actually that rare: the theatre of theory. “Thinking on the stage with Rittberger”, it could be called. He himself speaks of an “anarcho-communist search for evidence”.
[…]
Kevin Rittberger succeeds in creating something beautiful and uncommon: theoretical slapstick. Don’t Let Them Take You In, You 150,000,000! is a piece of genuine intellectual comedy in a popular format. It plays in a relaxed, ironic manner with the development of society since the 19th century, along with the associated social models. How beautiful it is just to hear the word “anarchy” in the theatre again.’

(Peter Michalzik, Frankfurter Rundschau, 3 June 2012)


‘Kevin Rittberger’s play Don’t Let Them Take You In, You 150,000,000!revolves around the question of how we should live and what kinds of responsibility we can take on. In the two and a half hours of Rittberger’s own production at the Schauspiel Frankfurt, it deals with what must easily be half a bookshelf full of intellectual approaches to anarchy, although one leitmotiv is the futile attempt by arriviste Western Europeans to discuss their experiences with “real” revolutionaries.’
(Andreas Jüttner, Theater Heute, August/September 2012)


Technical Data

Premiere 26 May/2 June 2012, Ruhr Festival Recklinghausen/Schauspiel Frankfurt
Director Kevin Rittberger
Cast -
Rights Verlag der Autoren
Taunusstraße 19
60329 Frankfurt a. M.
Tel. +49 69 238574-20
Fax: +49 69 24277644
theater@verlag-der-autoren.de
www.verlagderautoren.de
Translations Theatre Library