Ladies and Gentlemen: Merge on Stage | NDR.de – Culture

Status: 07.05.2022 11:28 AM

“Ladies and Gentlemen” is a professional group of actors with and without disabilities. With their production “The Ball – 5 Liberations and 50 New Beginnings” they experienced teamwork.

by Anina Pomerinki

The Green Fairy greets the audience and sits at five banqueting tables adorned with candelabra and large jugs of sparkling water studded with cucumbers and lemons. In addition, each guest already received a ticket for the “Ball of New Beginnings”. There are questions to break the deadlock such as: “When was the last time you received a compliment and from whom?” , which should be discussed better with the people sitting next to you. From the first impression it is clear how much love is for every little detail and innovative ideas with which this particular production, which comes from a private collection, works.

Group professional representation with and without so-called disabilities

Ladies and Gentlemen (MDUH) is a professional and permanent group of actors with or without disabilities. Recently she tested the work collectively: this means that everyone can do everything and decide everything. The evening “Ball – 5 releases and 50 new beginnings” was organized collectively. The work is part of a series that began four years ago – with the support of the Hamburg Ministry of Culture and the Performing Arts Fund. It’s an exciting process for everyone involved, as actor Dennis Seidel and dramatist and musician Christoph Grothus revealed in the background interview.

The idea: not just to be on stage and do what the director says, but to be involved in and get to know all kinds of individual areas – and that’s in a completely democratic way. Everyone can choose two areas of work, for example “Orga” and “Technology” or “Dramaturgy” and “Equipment” – in Germany it is perhaps a unique project with the function of a role model, but as Christoph Grothus asserts, this can only be Beginning: “If you look at the entire artistic and cultural scene, the number of people with disabilities who are on stage is incredibly small – and even more so when they are involved in the artistic decisions that move theater, as we like to say, are used.” Meanwhile, individuals at MDUH also work outside of television and theater productions. Dennis Seidel recently co-wrote a play for the Munich Kammerspiele. “An interest in such processes is emerging in the world of art and culture — but it is still relatively new,” Grothaus reports.

Mermaids, ice princesses and Haribo raspberries

Tonight’s problem: the hosts are missing, because they are trapped in five very different fantasy worlds. So the audience can only see the actors through projections on the big screens. But the action takes place right next door in front of the green screen. An absolute standout is the well-crafted production animation, which brings different worlds to life and has something of a video game from the ’90s. There we meet Ice Princess Elsa, a mermaid and mermaid who are trapped in the Grotto of Sorrows and can only be freed by the public who have reported their sorrows. If the release is successful, the guests at the table are served popcorn with raspberry Haribo. In another world, we experience a modern interpretation of fairy tales with a dungeon from which actresses only escape if the audience gives enough sincere praise. The production flourishes with many colorful and fashionable characters, lovingly designed worlds, and many truly experimental ideas.

Ball and party with Meermann DJ

The evening culminates in a huge ball, where not only everyone can dare to make a fresh start, but soon turns into a dance party in which all the audience (with or without so-called disabilities) participate enthusiastically. At first reserved and hesitant, DJ Meermann gradually managed to charm everyone with classics like “Don’t Stop Me Now” or Scooter. Even if the show lost some of its structure here, the atmosphere in the theater was actually much worse. I did well!

Dennis Seidel especially likes the fact that he was able to contribute his ideas and suggestions. He thinks the result is “really funny”. Christoph Grothus finds it astounding how a play with a compelling plot has emerged from so many different ideas. And the “fresh” combination worked really well!

Additional information


16 minutes

Comedian Tan Caglar, trumpeter Felix Kleiser or “Meine Damen und Herren” show that disability doesn’t have to play a role in culture. 16 minutes

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Culture NDR | 07.05.2022 | 8:15 am

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