Face To Face

for everybody aged 4+

There are the One and the Other – two people. They make the same moves, speak the same words, again and again, smoothly and in harmony with each other. It could go on like that forever. But then one starts deviating, following his own pace. On purpose? By mistake? The spot of the other is suddenly occupied at the wrong time! The formerly friendly ritual becomes rigorous rules…

With surprising video projections, humorous rhythms and playful texts, a theatre play about the questions of encounter unfolds – a topic that matters to four-year-olds as much as to their parents and grandparents.

Director Barbara Kölling has created an interdisciplinary and multilayered staging. „Face to Face“ is a cooperation with author Steffen Moor and visual artist Alexandra Dementieva (Brussels/New York), who has worked on social psychologic questions in the field of video installations for several years.

Duration: approx. 40 minutes

Premiere: Saturday, 23rd of September 2017


Performance: Marko Werner, Michael Lurse
Direction: Barbara Kölling
Video Concept: Alexandra Dementieva
Software: Yacine Sebti
Script: Steffen Moor
Assistance: Laura Frölich

Press Review

How humans encounter each other

Helios Theater opens with "Face to Face"

Hamm. The 2017/2018 season at Helios Theater opens with the new production "Face to Face", a theatre play with a running time of approx. 40 minutes, suitable for people aged four and older. The play premiered on Saturday.

Unexpected video projections, rhythmical texts, and movements repeating like a ritual: with "Face to Face", both children and adults embark on a philosophically-lighthearted journey to explore fundamental questions of human encounters.

While many an adult sat there with a quizzical expression on their face, children approached the whole thing with an open mind and watched enthralled as the action unfolded on a rather sparsely furnished stage. How a synchronised lockstep morphs into a slight delay, a pause, a hesitation, and a question to be scrutinised. "You may walk that way. But not this way!" – "Why not?" – "Because!" Harmony almost unperceptively makes way to confrontation. The two protagonists Michael Lurse and Marko Werner have just about fallen out completely when they realise that there was a beauty, a dependability to their community. And so they approach each other once again, but without relinquishing their identity and their idiosyncrasies. This interpretation is one possible option of engaging with the production; however, thanks of the way the play is staged, the audience is free to read and evaluate it the way they choose.

"Face to Face" is a collaboration with Alexandra Dementieva, a visual artist living in Brussels and New York, who was involved in the Helios production "Behind the Mirrors" back in 2011. In her video installations, Dementieva has been exploring questions from the field of social psychology for many years. Steffen Moor, too, returns for the second time as playwright: after the Rwandan-German co-production "Our House" (2016), he has now penned the text for "Face to Face". In the script, he composed words in a mellifluous manner to create a playful dialogue. Recited with full conviction and earnestness, the phrase “Ich häkle mir ein Gürteltier aus Packpapier” ("I'm crocheting an armadillo from wrapping paper...") caused sudden outbursts of mirth among young and old.

Fast-paced exchanges

For Michael Lurse and Marko Werner, "Face to Face" is the sixth production where they appear together on stage. The actors are an experienced double act, and they throw themselves lustily into fast-paced verbal exchanges and precisely synchronised choreographies. The intensity and authenticity of their performance is a thing to be admired and marvelled at. Director Barbara Kölling has brought together different art forms to create a dense and multi-layered theatre production about mutual perception and human encounters.

The production is funded by the Minister of Culture and Science of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia and Kunststiftung NRW, as well as through the European exchange project "small size – wide eyes" under the umbrella of the EU programme "Creative Europe". […]

by Sabine Begett, Westfälischer Anzeiger, 25th September 2017

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