Thanks to Tim and the team at Studiobühne Köln we now have the translations of two reviews of Alma Mater at Theaterszene Europa 2012.
by Thomas Linden | Kölnische Rundschau | May 29th 2012
Astonishing productions at the opening of “theaterszene europa”
Up until now the Theatre was considered to be the last bastion of physical reality in a struggle against a world of digital images. As the Scottish theatre makers Fish & Game demonstrate, even this position might be cleared soon. Individually the audience is led into a specially constructed room, an iPad in hand and on its screen the exact image of the room.
Soon you realize that it is a children’s room. A girl with beautiful, belligerent eyes is looking at you. She puts down a bird cage, and then a woman appears. Where she stood just now, only her clothes lie on a heap and her body has transformed into cake dough.
“Alma Mater” is the title of this installation, the Latin name for university, “the nourishing mother” in its etymological sense. And this here is all about her. It seems uncanny, but the horror stays friendly all the time. The music to this macabre game was composed by John De Simone, is transported via earphones and sounds like an optimistic version of a Peter Greenaway score.
Even if the plot unwinds itself on an iPad, the room changes, while one is guided through it. A game of changing perspectives evolves. But they do not offer any distance to what is happening. They rather pull the spectator like a hostage deeper and deeper into what takes place in the children’s room. An adventure with room and image, switching unpredictably between closeness and distance, going under your skin also because it is filmed brilliantly.
by Christian Bos | Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger | June 1st 2012
Scottish and German theatre companies test boundaries at studiobühneköln
Suddenly a little red-haired girl sits upon the white bed that had been empty just seconds ago. She is looking at you, asking you to follow her. You are the only viewer. The small children’s room is empty otherwise. And the girl? She only exists on the display of the iPad into which the lonely visitor of the piece “Alma Mater” by the theatre company “Fish & Game” from Glasgow is staring. The rooms within and outside of the tablet overlap – the white room seems to be haunted. You have to shudder; the ghost-story you are holding in your hand is brilliantly made. Only: Can you still call it theatre?
The festival theaterszene europa at studiobühneköln likes to ask this question time and again, as it results in the most interesting positions. Every year another guest nation meets a selection of German productions. 2012 sees Scotland as its guest – in anticipation of its independence. […]
If you want to know how far the limits of theatrical possibilities in Europe are explored these days, there is almost no better way to find out then visiting the cleverly curated festival of studiobühneköln.