Wiener Festwochen /// 30. Mai 2018 /// STADIUM
So, would you throw an egg at an actor during theater play just as you would do during a football game? As absurd as it may sound, that is the question that kept us busy long after the documentary play STADIUM was over and it’s precisely what I genuinely loved about the play.
Another important question that was brought to the fore was: What does it mean to be an audience? – Be it during a football match, a concert or a theater play. The french RC Lens football fans give various answers to that question while elaborating on their almost inborn love for the club. In that way, creator Mohamed El Khatib turns the stage into a grotesque microcosm of the world where the juxtaposition and even clash between religious faith and dedication to the football club is a ‘ganz normal’ phenomena.
The staging of STADIUM also challenges traditional characteristics of a play such as the development of plot and action.
Stripped of the essential elements of a play, the only certain element of Stadium in the end is the audience.
Yet at times it challenged even my role as a spectator as it left me in between two languages, two cultures and most importantly – in between two audiences! What is the difference between experiencing a football game and a play as a spectator? What are the similarities? To me, those questions are much more important than the answers themselves.
In the end, the mirror that STADIUM places in front of the spectators is meant to challenge their own position in theater. At the same time, its wonderfully comic tone and performative aspects make seeing the play a rather liberating experience.
Text Mohamed El Khatib
Konzept, Regie Mohamed El Khatib, Fred Hocké
Künstlerische Mitarbeit Violaine de Cazenove, Éric Domeneghetty
Projektassistenz Coraline Cauchi
Bühne, Licht, Video Fred Hocké
Ton Arnaud Léger
Inspizienz Léopold Frey
Produktionsleitung, Vertrieb Martine Bellanza
Presse Nathalie Gasser
Photos: Yohanne Lamoulère