Schauspiel Bochum: The Novel of Football on Stage – Culture

Ivo Trifonovic wants to call it quits. Myrna met three times for sex. But a long distance relationship via texting and long breaks somehow wasn’t what he expected. He doesn’t even know exactly what to expect. In any case, he plans to break up “like Panenka from a pen”. With Panenka, she calmly shoots the ball halfway: “Myrna will be in the goal without realizing it, the word will be the ball and Ivo will sail past her into the net so easily that she does not catch it anymore.”

Evo thinks mainly of football comparisons, almost exclusively. The protagonist of Tonio Schachinger’s 2019 debut novel “Not Like Her” is a professional footballer, Austrian national player, who was once in the Real Madrid squad and now plays for Everton. He drives a Bugatti, has a contract until 2023 and earns 100 thousand euros a week; If he extended the contract prematurely by two years, that would be 120,000. Evo must be unsympathetic, yet you really want to have a match like him on your team.

Theatrical director Malte Jelden has transformed Ivo’s story into a kind of static and narrative drama for the Bochum Theater, divided into theatrical minutes, spread over three narrators from the group, Anne Rietmeijer, Karin Moog and Konstantin Bühler. In sportswear fashion, they talk with minimal dramatic effort about the trials and tribulations of the entire commercial football life: Christmas with a Bosnian grandmother, a pinched nerve he tossed not on the field but at home, and that particular connection with Myrna.

Outside the B youth plays, inside there are meatballs

It’s kind of an away game for the drama team. Although they remain in Bochum, the performance does not take place in the theatre, but in the event room of Club SG Wattenscheid 09. The club’s pub is called “Wohnzimmer”, after the stadium of nearby Lohrheide; Very decent meatballs cost €2 and team photos from the 90s are hanging on the wall.

This was the glorious decade for SG: between 1990 and 1994, the club played in the Bundesliga for four seasons and even beat Bayern Munich. In 2019, General Security went bankrupt and was nearly expelled from the association registry. They are now playing in the fifth league. On the other hand, this is far from the world that Evo is set in. On the other hand, it is precisely the differences in finances that make the basic similarities between all the divisions particularly clear: “Every kid, every fan loves football more than players because they don’t know how dirty it really is, what a stupidity of it all, The amount of work behind it all.” This applies to Wattenscheid as well as to Real.

The evening is more exciting than some Champions League matches

Rietmeijer, Moog and Bühler take turns talking about what Ivo does all week – apart from training and cheating in the virtual world, basically: watching football – and acting on the small stage, equipped with three giant plush-covered cubes sitting, only in rare cases than they report. The musical interlude, in which Anne Rietmeyer sings six songs from a mixtape sent by Myrna Ivo, sounds like a filler. And an old Schalke joke (Schalke stadium will now be named after a woman: “To Ernst Kozora his wife is her stadium”) doesn’t really catch fire. But overall, the evening felt faster and more possessive than some Champions League matches.

Breaking up with Panenka doesn’t really work for Ivo, he just doesn’t stay calm enough from this point on. And after changing his club to AS, he finally sees red. But he will bounce. And at some point he will win again at home. Just like the B-Juniors from SG Wattenscheid 09 out there. After 1:0 unchallenged, the ascent could no longer be taken away from them.

Leave a Comment