Westwärts A walk-in state of emergency – Text by Rolf Dieter Brinkmann, Music by Schorsch Kamerun and Carl Oesterhelt

World premiere
Idea, concept:
Musical director:
Carl Oesterhelt
Stage designer:
Constanze Kümmel
Costume designer:
Daniela Selig
Gabriella Bußacker
Assistant to the stage designer:
Merle Katrin Seibert
The singer:
Christian Brachtel, Sachiko Hara, Jost Hecker, Mathis Mayr, Carl Oesterhelt, Juan Sebastina Ruiz, Gertrud Schilde, Nancy Sullivan
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Opening night:
20. September
Admission times:
7:00 pm, 7:20 pm, 7:40 pm
21. September
Admission times:
7:00 pm, 7:20 pm, 7:40 pm
24. September
Admission times:
7:00 pm, 7:20 pm, 7:40 pm
26. September
Admission times:
7:00 pm, 7:20 pm, 7:40 pm
27. September
Admission times:
7:00 pm, 7:20 pm, 7:40 pm
every seat
30 €

The performance ends approx. at 9 pm.

Introductions on September 21st, 24th, 26th and 27th, always at 6:15 pm

All part of the service: a free shuttle bus to all performances from Hauptbahnhof Essen to the Maschinenhalle Zweckel in Gladbeck (to the first entrance time).

A large number of local residents gather in an old machine-shop in the Ruhrgebiet and start to move about. As if in a kind of zero hour, events happen without any recognisable cause, the collective is unbalanced by something. Perspectives are out of alignment, individuality and community are in some disorientated normality, constantly enforced self-regulation leads to insecurity. The group of people does not possess a new language yet. Only one locked-in group play and sing texts by Rolf Dieter Brinkmann as a form of narrative, which names the ways of fear as a collective existential rage, as an attempt to interpret powerlessness. People and counter-people live through a prophetic libretto to a ›Bloodsuckers Opera‹ of today.

›Breach‹ is what miners call an unintentional or intentional collapse of mine workings.  What would happen if the existing balance of power suddenly tipped over? Who defines a new order – and by what criteria? What if I myself can no longer stand by as an observer? We’re talking now of a new orientation. Who will lead it, who will carry out Crown prosecutors? Craftsmen? The most ambitious? The morbid mob? Mothers? Animals? The climate? And what if everything remained permanently in disorder?

The concert and performance spectacle Westwärts has been developed by Schorsch Kamerun and Katja Eichbaum, by dramaturges and outfitters, by lay actors and professionals, by musicians, singers and actors, by all participants and confidants.

For this evening we want to do nothing less than stop the world and take a good long look at it. Protected by a transparent tunnel system, the audience will be able to walk directly into this Gladbecker attempt at re-evaluation set within the mine’s old machine-shop. Rolf Dieter Brinkmann’s Westwärts 1 & 2, one of the bulkiest volumes of poetry of the 20th century, provides the direct reflex to diktat. Sound and movement will be from a Munich music ensemble conducted by Carl Oesterhelt (a member of the Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle group) and the actress Sandra Hüller working with Schorsch Kamerun to turn this into a minimalist classic.

A RuhrTriennale production.