COMPASSION- The History of the Machine Gun Schaubühne Berlin

Compassion The History of the Machine Gun @ GI Chennai

Sat, 17.03.2018

Music Academy


Direction                                 MILO RAU
Actors                                     URSINA LARDI, CONSOLATE SIPERIUS
Stage & Costume Design       ANTON LUKAS
Video & Sound Design           MARC STEPHAN
Dramaturgy                            FLORIAN BORCHMEYER
Lighting Design                      ERICH SCHNEIDER
Research Collaboration         MIRJAM KNAPP, STEFAN BLÄSKE

Duration:         ca. 1h 45m (no intermission)
Photos:            Daniel Seiffert

Schaubühne Berlin @Goethe Chennai

In recent months, the fate of refugees has overwhelmed the whole of Europe and there ave probably been no intellectuals or politicians who have failed their solidarity with the suffering of people from the Middle East and Africa. Images of the drowned on editerranean beaches or victims of civil war and disease in Central Africa: the crises and disasters of our time are ubiquitous in our Facebook timelines, on Television and in the Press.
Schaubühne Berlin @Goethe Chennai

In COMPASSION. THE HISTORY OF THE MACHINE GUN, Milo Rau and his team journey to the political hot spots of our time, the Mediterranean routes of refugees from the Middle East and Congolese civil war zones. The semi-documentary double-monologue, based on interviews with NGO workers, clerics and war victims in Africa and Europe, deliberately ventures into contradictory terrain.

How do we endure the misery of others and why do we watch it?

Why does one dead person at the gates of Europe outweigh 1000 dead people in the civil war zones?

Can compassion have borders?

COMPASSION. THE HISTORY OF THE MACHINE GUN not only contemplates the limits of our compassion but also on the limits of European humanism.

It deals with the impossibility to help. The stories of two actresses, one a victim of the Genocides in Africa, the other a witness, show the paradoxical perception of sorrow and pain, which now and then face empathy but at the same time complete disregard. The development aid worker, portrayed by Ursina Lardi, finally has to recognize how cynical the compassion aesthetics of the west really are – a result, which is confirmed by  onsolate Sipérius, who was born in Burundi and after the Genocide in 1993 raised in Belgium. The performance, that is based on Interviews with NGO-workers, priests and war victims in Africa and Europe, consciously enters challenging terrains. The award-winning director Milo Rau takes the spectator on a journey to those people who live beyond the focus of the European compassion industry and asks: Who sees us if we suffer?

“Compassion. The History of the Machine Gun” first performed in 2016 at the renowned German theatre Schaubühne in Berlin has since then toured all over the world with stops in Moskau, Paris, Prag and many more.
Schaubühne Berlin


The Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz was founded in 1962. Since 1999 it has been led by artistic director Thomas Ostermeier. The Schaubühne premiers a minimum of 10 shows per season alongside a repertoire of over 30 existing productions. The repertoire encompasses the greatest dramatic works of world literature alongside contemporary plays from internationally renowned writers and directors.

We are very happy to welcome the promising play to Chennai and look forward to a fulminant evening.

Entry 12 + yrs. only.

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