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10 December 2013 No comments
Break A Leg! Or Rather, Please Don't...Events Curiosities Bicycles Art & Design
Dramatist Duncan Macmillan wrote a play called "Lungs" a couple of years ago. It explores a couple's dilemma. In short, they're giving serious thought to bringing new life into the world, but against the contemporary backdrop of overpopulation and the considerable carbon footprint that each of us, tiny little babies included, ultimately leaves behind, aren't really sure that this desire can be reconciled with their otherwise unimpeachable eco-credentials. It opened in 2011 to favourable notices, and now it has been translated into German. In the spirit of Offsetting, prior to the start of its run at Berlin's famous Schaubühne, director Katie Mitchell decided to add a twist to the proceedings. By harnessing a pair of bikes, the light for the stage could be generated by two assiduous pedalers, she reckoned. Of course, we've seen this sort of thing before. But in Berlin, the assiduous pedalers in question also happen to be the play's actors. Lucy Wirth and Christoph Gawenda play the two protagonists, W and M. M sets the ball rolling on a trip to Ikea by just going ahead and putting it out there that they should talk about procreating, which leads W to memorably conclude that "I could fly to New York and back every day for seven years and still not leave a carbon footprint as big as if I have a child. Ten thousand tonnes of CO2. That’s the weight of the Eiffel Tower. I’d be giving birth to the Eiffel Tower". In German, obviously. The physical struggle of making electricity with their bikes is intended as a metaphor for the moral dilemma with which the couple find themselves struggling. Fortunately there's help with the physical part, at least; behind the actors, four more cyclists are hammering away in the pedals, delivering power for the P.A., speakers and microphones. And all parties can push their machines to the limit knowing that if they suddenly need an able mechanic, Brooks Dealer Of Excellence Radkonzept is just around the corner! The play is running for five more shows between now and early January in Berlin; you can grab tickets here.