Roland Schimmelpfennig

Der elfte Gesang
Odyssee Europa
Auftrag für Ruhr2010 und das Schauspielhaus Bochum
UA: 27.02.2010 · Schauspielhaus Bochum · Directed by: Lisa Nielebock
A man enters a room, a hall, an atrium, a hanger. Or something like an underground field, an acre beneath the earth. The man is here to ask a corpse about the future: Tiresias. Who wouldn’t want to be able to see into the future? And who wouldn’t want, just once, to be able to speak with the dead? Tell me what it was like, what it was really like back then. An encounter with those whose time has passed.
But who says that the advise here isn’t completely confused? Perhaps a dead man’s vision of the future is nothing more than the confused reconstruction of a lost past. In order to understand their death, the dead celebrate life. Every recovered moment is precious. It was nice back then, one of them says. When were we really alive, really really alive?
When I was walking down the street with you, hand in hand, hopelessly in love.
Let’s dance.
These shadows of the underworld experience the most important moments in their life over and over again – but which moments are important, which unimportant? Who should decide that at the end of a life? Odysseus needs the dead seer Tiresias to look into the future, but the dead need Odysseus to explain their past. They try desperately to give meaning to their past.
Odysseus himself cannot answer, because for him, too, looking back at the time lost in the war and forward at the dangers before him, meaning has been lost. He is gasping for air. Where to start from here? But gathering here were countless hoards of ghosts with terrible shrieks, and pale horror seized me. (Roland Schimmelpfennig)