Radical Jung Festival begins with a guest performance from Ukraine

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to: Michael Schleicher

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The surprise of the Berliner came to Munich: “It’s Britney, bitch!” Directed by Lena Brach and actress Sina Martins on the life of pop star Britney Spears. © JR Berliner Ensemble

After a two-year break with Corona, “Radikal Jung” returned to the Munich Volkstheater. The “Festival of Young Directors” begins on June 24 and features eleven works from Kyiv, Athens, Berlin, Düsseldorf, London, Mannheim, Oberhausen, Paris and Munich.

Oh, my God, it’s true: You have to look for the good news in these humble days. This is definitely one of them: the return of “Radikal Jung” at the Munich Volkstheater theatre. Corona, the festival for young directors, has condemned the forced interruption in the past two years. It’s over – finally. To be on the safe side, those in charge of the tour have moved from April to early summer: From June 24 to July 2, 2022, those interested can catch a glimpse of Tomorrow’s Theater with eleven invited productions to Munich. What topics and questions are young filmmakers interested in? What handwriting and aesthetics do they use to talk about it? In addition, “Radikal Jung” is of course always a festival in the literal sense, a celebration of encounters, and synergies. Remember this is more important now than ever.

Photo by Christian Stockel, Jens Helge, Florian Fischer, Festival creators
Festival makers around Volkstheater head Christian Stockl (right): Jens Hillje (centre) heads the jury for the first time, which also includes Florian Fischer. © Gabriella Kneep / Munich Volks Theater

However, some things are new: since Volkstheater has now moved to Tumblingerstraße, this edition could take place in three stages. The jury, which has seen about 60 productions, sees itself under its new boss, stage maker Jens Helgey, as an “organizing team”. Its focus is increasingly on the “supervision” of managers, rather than their evaluation. One wants to add an aspect of “festival of work” to the “general festival”, which has always been “radically young”: artists must meet each other and enter into an exchange with one another. For example, audience conversations will be replaced by the “Artist Conversations” format. “Late Night” is also new, with the goal of “leaving the stage to return to the stage,” in the words of curator Florian Fisher. One wants to present theater as a “collective system of nightlife”. Exactly how this will happen will be revealed in early June.

The Left Bank Theater in Kyiv comes from Ukraine

Ten of the eleven works invited by Helge Fischer and theater critic Kristen Wahl and her colleague C. Bernd Sucher are world premieres. Only Ewelina Marciniak has worked on classic dramatic literature at the Nationaltheater Mannheim. Comes with “Jungfrau von Orleans” by Schiller.

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Staging “Radikal Jung” is Kyiv’s Left Bank theater with “Bad Roads. Six stories of life and war”. © Spyros Run

Opening under the impression of world events: Left Bank theater from Kyiv “Radikal Jung” opened with “Bad Roads”. The Six Stories of Life and War is based on research in the Donbass. A feminist perspective is also strongly represented in the program: of course, this includes Johanna Schiller, but also “Civilization”, a work from London by Jaz Woodcock-Stewart, which tells of a woman in an emergency – and “It’s Britney”, bitch! “The ups and downs of Britney Spears’ life. The solo film, developed by actress Sina Martins under the direction of Lena Brach, was a huge hit with the audience in the Berliner troupe. Due to demand there, the production, actually built for the workshop, was shown for the first time at The main building on Thursday, April 28, 2022.

Britney Spears tonight from the Berliner Ensemble guest

Ultimately, this work is also a celebration of stubbornness and perseverance. And that’s not the worst approach when it comes to restarting a theater festival. Anyway, host and Volkstheater stage director Christian Stockl explained, based on the hit song “Oops! I Did It Again” by Spears: “I’m so glad we’re doing it again. Even if I don’t know what it’s going to come out of.” But this has always been the strength and attraction of ‘Radical Young’. It remains only for us to happily call out: “Baby, again!”

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