2 June: Premiere of “Fundstadt” in Bremen / 16 June: Premiere in Gelsenkirchen. The reviewer of the Bremer Kreiszeitung describes the performance as “magical”. Fundstadt’s claim to “let us see the world through a child’s eyes”, he says, initially seems “a bit kitschy”. One of its greatest assets is that it has escaped all kitsch. Just as the team met the children involved at eye level, so now does the audience. The “beings” that the six children invented for themselves as companions appear threatened in quite a few cases. “They want to break you” says Ali to his, which he hides in a shoe box. He promises him to protect it. “The truth is not always the most beautiful” speaks the voice of a girl from Bremen from offstage (most of the time she is downright “disgusting”). She wants to become a veterinarian. But what if an animal got into trouble and a friend needed her help at the same time? There would then be no right thing to do. So she has decided to do without friends in her life. Salvation is not one of these children’s worlds.
Where sound does not oppose the visual in music theatre, it runs the risk of becoming bogged down in the subconscious. The six films do not escape this either. In front of the film image, the music liquefies into a soundtrack in places, although it deserves to be heard more consciously. The live actions, created by children and instrumentalists, compensate for this. Their visual and sound memory motifs bring back the images and sounds of the film.
The six filmic portraits of children remain the same in both cities. Three in each city link directly to the place where they are seen. The live actions differ only slightly as such in both cities, but change their character with different spatial placement. The surfaces of shimmering gold paper – they refer to film in a shoebox – seem lively in the Gelsenkirchen sunshine, magical in the Bremen pedestrian tunnel.
The short finale, in which the live children interact with the audience, took place in Bremen in the theatrical atmosphere of the Brauhaus stage there. Colourful light illuminated irregularly placed crumpled chairs. If in Gelsenkirchen one had been one of the first to finish one’s way, in the upper foyer of the MiR one encountered thirty cots arranged in a strict row, as if Beuys had been reborn to counterpoint Yves Klein’s wall space. The irritation of “what is actually theatre here and what perhaps simply belongs to the world” (Bremer Kreiszeitung) was not resolved here, but symbolically heightened once again by the wide view through the glass window of Gelsenkirchen as a found city. When thirty people then lay lined up on the cots, they appeared like the wounded in a military hospital. Children appeared above them as doctors. They looked up at them from their cots and the little ones were suddenly the big ones. One after the other, they turned their attention to each patient, exchanging a glance with him through a hand mirror.