Claus Peymann in conversation with Elmar Goerden / Exhibition

Claus Peymann, Elmar Goerden
3. October
11:00 am
every seat
5 €

It is the year 1966, June 1: A five metre long white beluga gets astray into the Lower Rhine area. June, 2: The US spacecraft Surveyor I lands on the moon. June 6: On behalf of Mao Tse-tung, propaganda trials with interrogations are carried out at the university of Peking. Charged are spoilsports of revolution. June 8: Dutch students throw brochures against the Vietnam War down onto the parquet of their parliament. The same evening, four actors who are soaked with sweat, one of them a thin, shy autor, one of them an aggressive director take a bow in the Frankfurt Theater am Turm.
After a short theatre evening which meets the pulse of time by staging a play called Publikumsbeschimpfung (Scolding of Audience), the audience show tumultuous reactions which puts into question the barrier between theatre and audience. »The theatre ramp« as it is stated in Peter Handke’s play, »is no barrier. We don’t act! We are no actors! We have no code names. We don’t play parts. We are ourselves! « The television recording with its cut-aways into the audience gives precise information about what clashed this evening: suits in the parquet, ties, shell-rimmed glasses, blow-dry hairstyles, white Peter Pan collars, fierce chat-ups on the stage and angry anarchic practices.
For Peter Handke and Claus Peymann this theatrical moment has been like an aesthetic big bang of two careers that could not be any different in its operating temperatures, yet are repeatedly crossing, approaching and diverging each other’s way through incessant productiveness. Since the world premiere of Publikumsbeschimpfung, the first theatre play by Handke, Claus Peymann staged ten further premieres of Handke’s plays, the latest one this February, called Spuren der Verirrten.
Claus Peymann never made it easy: neither for his theatre manager nor for himself. As one of the activists of the flower-power generation he declared the theatre as a public panel of political debates.  He is an artistic explorer, companion and friend to numerous authors, among them - besides Peter Handke and Thomas Bernhard – Botho Strauß, Gerlind Reinshagen, Heiner Müller, Elfriede Jelinek, Peter Turrini and Christoph Ransmayr. His theatre productions have been nominated 19 times for the Berlin theatre meeting. Altogether nine times, theatre works under his direction have been  awarded »Theatre of the Year« (four times Stuttgart, two times Bochum, three times Vienna).

After Andrea Breth and Peter Zadek, this year the RuhrTriennale is focusing on the work of Claus Peymann who has made a major impact on German theatre in the last forty years. He took an opposing position politically, poetically and programmatically to everything that allowed itself to be blackened as zeitgeist.

The productions of Claus Peymann in Bochum

Photographs of the years 1979-1986
from 1st September, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum
Admission is free. Open during performances.

The serial Works: Claus Peymann is supported by Stiftung Pro Bochum.