children under pressure

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Anyone who has children of primary school age knows that there is a lot of pressure to perform before moving on to secondary school. This is what Fabienne Dür’s play is about, which she wrote for children aged nine and over on behalf of the Stadttheater. The title refers to what fourth graders are often told: There is still room for improvement.


Before entering the hall in Byteatrets Lille Hus, visitors are asked to take off their shoes. And there’s a good reason for that, because Lili Süper’s scenography, which she designed for Fabienne Dür’s commissioned piece “Luft nach Oben”, also includes the stage floor. Streets and plants are painted on the outside, the spectators sit on chairs and cushions in a hexagon surrounded by a wire curtain and floor paintings around a circuit board plinth. Game scenes from outside are projected live on the inside of the white wire wall. Student reality and video game fiction blur together.

Sheet music and premiere

It is the same in the lives of the three fourth-graders Sop, Kar and Fri, about whom the play tells the story, and who play Izabella Radic, Dascha Ivanova and Stephan Hirschpointner from Ensemble Junges Theater in the world premiere with great enthusiasm. They must do well in school so that the recommendation for high school also works. But which school should it be? Can’t grades and social skills improve a bit? And above all, what profession should your life steer towards? The pressure to perform – but also the question of their future plans, which is perceived as a serious problem – has the three friends firmly in its grip. And they are still children. This pressure almost threatens to break their friendship: competition and envy arise, they blame each other. Only if they play together can they be a team of heroes, overcoming obstacles and scoring points with their imaginary magical powers. And then Sop, Mrs. Know-it-all’s ambitious favorite student and daughter of an academic household where “everyone has always gone to high school”, becomes the brave “Invisible Sop”. Kar, whose single mother cleans the school and who wants to become a game designer or professional gamer, becomes the turbo-fast “Amazing Carbon Car”. The vivacious Fri, who has a big mouth but little confidence and, above all, no idea what she wants to be when she grows up, transforms into the lion-like video game heroine “Frinx” and opens with her roaring in pursuit of him “Endboss” doors.

With the aesthetics of a video game

Again and again, the three friends jump back and forth between reality and video game fantasies. Anyone who, as an adult viewer, is suspicious of the constant gamesmanship of their own offspring can see here that this kind of escapism can also have an outlet effect.

Kar, Sop and Fri film themselves on their virtual adventure. Their faces appear huge on the curtain of threads. And the sound curtain designed by Izabella Radic ensures that even the child viewers, especially those who deliberately laugh out loud when they hear the phrase “Game design is not a profession!”, immediately feel right in the middle of it all. The direction of Yesim Keim Schaub and the eye-catching stage and costumes of Lili Süper – both born in Bremen in the mid-1990s and co-founders of fett kollektive, a young interdisciplinary theater collective – manage to capture the audience in the primary school. school age right from the start. The video game aesthetics, but also the child-friendly text by Fabienne Dür, reaches precisely the target group that has grown out of the children’s theater but cannot really relate to the pubertal problems of the youth theater.

A little better lighting of the actors’ faces would have been announced. And there is also the problem of the round stage, which people often talk in the “wrong” direction. But beyond that, there isn’t much “room for improvement” left at this premiere. If you want to form an impression yourself, you have many options: Additional viewings follow on October 3 (3 p.m.), 9 (4 p.m.) and October 15 (4 p.m.), 14 (10.30 a.m.), 19 (3 ​​p.m.) . ), 25 November (10.30am) and 26th (3pm) and 3rd and 4th December (4pm each time).

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