A production of SCHAUSPIEL KÖLN, Cologne
Premiered at Depot 1, October 15th 2022
Tickets & info: https://www.schauspiel.koeln/spielplan/a-z/love-me-more/
Concept and Directing SAAR MAGAL
Stage Design SLAVNA MARTINOVIĆ, SAAR MAGAL
Choreography SAAR MAGAL, in collaboration with the Ensemble of the Schauspiel Köln
Costumes SLAVNA MARTINOVIĆ
Video Design JULIAN PACHE
Soundtrack Design & Composition JULIAN STETTER
Light Design JÜRGEN KAPITEIN
Rehearsal Manager JULIA KRAUS
Dramaturgy LEA GOEBEL
With ALEXANDER ANGELETTA, CAMPBELL CASPARY, JEMIMA ROSE DEAN, YURI ENGLERT, BENJAMIN HÖPPNER, REBECCA LINDAUER, MASON MANNING,
CLAUDIA ORTIZ ARRAIZA, BREEANNE SAXTON
Assistant Director Dennis Nolden I Assistant Stage Design Lucie Hedderich I Assistant Costume Design Teresa Schimmels I Assistant Sound Design Evgeniy Tanaisov I Choir Director Christian Lorenzen I Stage Manager David Schäfer I Soufflage Claudia Kron I Internship directing Sophia Lindblom, Dion Enis Nikc, Matthis Volkmar I Internship dramaturgy Tom Kramer, Sophie Rebentisch
Photos BIRGIT HUPFELD
LOVE ME MORE
A CrossOver project loosely based on the Novel “THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY” by Oscar Wilde
World premiere I 15 OCT I Depot 1 Schauspiel Köln
ca. 1h and 30 mins
In German and English
A review by Karin Yeşilada on Nachtkritik: https://nachtkritik.de/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=21552:love-me-more-schauspiel-koeln-saar-magal-choreografiert-oscar-wildes-dorian-gray-als-turbokapitalistischen-narziss&catid=84:schauspiel-koeln&Itemid=40
While reading “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by as a basis for a new creation about the age of shameless capitalistic narcissism in which we live, it became clear to me that the most significant difference between the time of Oscar Wilde’s 19th century and our time lies in the society’s perception of the corporality of the privileged body. This difference resides in the contrast between the still, thin, pale, bored privileged male body, idling around in upper class salons and pondering philosophical questions, versus the active, highly trained, fit, multiply gendered, constantly moving privileged body of today, where boredom is uncool and unacceptable. And as if the constant activity itself is not enough, it forces with it another socially obliged action of taking a photo of it and posting it online for the world to see.
The 19th-century privilege was recognized through the concept of a leisure class, the rich, who could afford to not work. One’s boredom was a privilege, the depressive was exotic, the melancholic was praised, and being culturally effective and attractive was about collecting beautiful things, being feeble and delicate and contemplating the thought of Proust and the like.
Nowadays, the sect of Work, both as in doing Work and doing workout, prevails as a symbol of power versus Work being an action of making a living.
In our fragmented culture of hyper capitalism and neoliberalism we must simulate and project terminal diligence and industriousness. We are never comfortable in our skins. We need to purchase more for obtaining peace. We seek self optimization in the buxom of mindfulness, yoga, health food, toxin cleansing, detox etc., while our body is pushed to the limit in a physical sense by the lack of rest and extreme fitness exercises. Our bodies have become a domain of competition. We need a form of intoxication such as drugs for this competition to seize for a moment, and for some sense of closeness or intimacy to develop. Our brain has become a continuum of commercials for more things that we need. This need creates an action and the action creates a new need which usually requires a metamorphosis of the way we look, appear and behave. Aging and the act of non doing seem to have become cardinal sins. In “Love Me More”, we try to rid ourselves of these obsessions, to exorcize them by exposing them. We are not able to live in isolation. “Love Me More” is a field of personal associations, a strain of a collective subconsciousness as regards to our need for other people, the society around us and to be loved in order to be.
In my aim to explore a topic, a narrative, an emotional and a visual journey, I strive to engage a convergence of artists, audience, objects, scenic and phenomenological literature, and materials on stage to create new contexts and territories for movement and narrative. Throughout my rehearsal process, I empower a collaborative environment or a feeling of a “playground" in the room, to enable “games”. These “games” incorporate a method of an improvisational system that I have developed, which trains performers of different disciplines, such as actors and dancers, to use their bodies, voices and senses to create meaning and form a group. As part of this system, I set up several points of awareness which a performer can use while working, that provide a vocabulary for thinking about and acting upon visual and narrational contexts and creates an opportunity for spontaneous interactions that discover new moments in theatre. In the rehearsal room, I attempt to create a technique for actor and dancer training that is best experienced and not verbalized. This process, by its nature, is meant to encourage more risk-taking and bolder choices in performing that are not confined by any particular expectations. Through an improvised exploration of preconceived staging concepts and scenic ideas, an artistic discovery is possible on a personal and group level.