Anyone who has children of primary school age knows that there is a lot of pressure to perform before transitioning into high school. That’s what Fabian d’Or play is all about, which she wrote for children aged nine and over on behalf of the Stadttheater. The title refers to what fourth graders often hear: There is still room for improvement.
Before entering the hall at the Small House of the City Theater, visitors are asked to take off their shoes. And there’s good reason for that, because the stage design for Super Night, which she designed for Fabian’s play Luft nach Oben, also includes the stage floor. The streets and plants in the outdoor area are painted, and onlookers sit on chairs and cushions in the shape of a hexagon surrounded by a curtain of threads and floor panels around the base of a circuit board. The game scenes are projected from the outside directly onto the inner wall of the white thread. Student reality and video game fantasy fade together.
Sheet music and premiere
It’s the same in the lives of the three fourth graders Soap, Carr, and Frey, whose play tells the story and who play Isabella Radic, Dasha Ivanova and Stefan Hirschbuener of the Ensemble Jong Theater in the world premiere with great vigor. They must do well in school for the high school recommendation to work as well. But which school should it be? Can’t improve grades and social skills a little bit? And above all, what profession should your life be headed for? The pressure to perform – but also the question of their future plans, which is seen as a serious problem – has the three friends firmly in her grip. They are still children. This pressure almost threatens to break up their friendship: competition and envy arise, blaming each other. Only if they play together can they become a team of heroes, overcome obstacles and score points with their magical magical powers. And so Sobe, the lady’s favorite, ambitious and “know-it-all” student and her daughter from an academic home where “everyone always went to grammar school,” becomes the brave Invisible Soup. Carr, whose mom cleans up at school and wants to become a game designer or professional gamer, becomes a super-fast “Amazing Carbon Car”. Lively Friday, who has a big mouth but has little self-confidence and above all has no idea what she wants to be when she grows up, turns into the lion-like heroine of the video games “Franks” and begins to roar in her pursuit of the gates of “Indus”.
With the aesthetics of a video game
Time and time again, the three friends jump back and forth between video game fantasies and reality. Anyone, as an adult viewer, who is suspicious of their children’s constant gambling can see here that this form of escape can also have an outlet effect.
Kar, Sop, and Fri portray themselves on their virtual adventures. Their faces look huge on the thread curtain. The texture of the sound designed by Isabella Radek ensures that even child viewers, especially those who laugh out loud when they hear the sentence “Game designer is not a profession!” They instantly feel in the middle of it all. Direction by Yesim Keim Schaub and eye-catching theater and costumes by Lili Süper – both born in Bremen in the mid-1990s and co-founders of fett kollektiv, a young multidisciplinary group theater – have managed to appeal to an elementary school-age audience from the start. The aesthetics of video games, as well as the child-friendly text by Fabian d’Or, reach exactly that target group that has gone beyond children’s theater but cannot really relate to the issues of puberty in youth theater.
Better lighting for the actors’ faces would have been announced. There is also the problem of the round stage in which people often speak in the “wrong” direction. But other than that, there wasn’t much “room for improvement” left in this premiere. If you want to get an impression for yourself, you have several options: More shows will follow on October 3 (3 pm), 9 (4 pm) and October 15 (4 pm), 14 (10:30 am), 19 (3 pm) (p.m.) .), November 25 (10:30 a.m.) and 26 (3 p.m.) as well as December 3 and 4 (4 p.m. each time).