Drama

Ab jetzt

Henceforward
Comedy by Alan Ayckbourn
Performed in German, in a translation by Corinna Brocher & Peter Zadek

Michael Birnbaum
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Karoline Reinke, Michael Birnbaum
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Michael Birnbaum, Karoline Reinke
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Michael Birnbaum, Nils Hausotte
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Karoline Reinke
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Lisa Mies, Tom Gerber
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Lisa Mies
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Karoline Reinke
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Michael Birnbaum
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Karoline Reinke
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Karoline Reinke
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Lisa Mies, Michael Birnbaum
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Michael Birnbaum, Karoline Reinke
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Karoline Reinke, Lisa Mies, Michael Birnbaum
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Michael Birnbaum
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster
Karoline Reinke
Photo: Karl & Monika Forster

“A comedy as endgame” wrote “Der Spiegel” about “Ab jetzt” in 1987. But have we since reached the future (“sometime quite soon”) in which British doyen playwright Alan Ayckbourn’s science fiction piece is set?

As if possessed and completely sealed off from the world, composer Jerome is working on a monumental new work about love. For this, he is sampling everyday sounds and speech fragments through a continuous recording technique. His obsessive behaviour has since driven away his wife and daughter and he is in a state of creative crisis. His bunker is devoid of live and offers no source of inspiration – certainly not for composing a work about love. When Child Protection Services announce that they are to make a decision on visitation rights for his daughter, Jerome must somehow prove that he is socially competent and well-adjusted. Instead of his household robot, GOU 300 F, he will require a “real” fiancé, to be impersonated by actress Zoe.

“Henceforward” is a tremendous situation comedy, a type of test setup for feelings and sensations during a time when these can be mechanically replaced or reproduced. Hopelessly faulty and in constant need of re-programming, the highly complex Android GOU 300 F – originally designed for babysitting duties and now chronically underemployed – is at the centre of the plot. The maternal machine finds ways to fill up its idling programme by copying human behaviour patterns found in its environment. And while Jerome obsessively records all his life (and love) noises for his great work of art, and Zoe ends up falling in love with him while play-acting to be his lover, a dysfunctional robot takes all of this to absurd heights.

Cast

Director Ulrike Arnold
Stage & Costume Designer Bartholomäus Martin Kleppek
Music and Sounddesign Mathis Nitschke
Video E.S. Mayorga
Dramaturgy Katharina Gerschler
Jerome Michael Birnbaum
Corinna Lisa Mies
Geain, ihre Tochter Camillo Guthmann
Geain Nils Hausotte
Zoe Karoline Reinke
Mervyn Bickerdyke Ulrich Rechenbach
GOU 300 F
Lupus Tom Gerber
In weiteren Videos Stefan Graf, Alina Hagedorn, Ada Janssen, Gesine Janssen, Bartholomäus Martin Kleppek, Sascha Kölzow, Rainer Kühn, Rolf Lonz, Rebecca Mayer