Too Much

July 2021

A cabaret MC working under increasingly desperate conditions, a musician overwhelmed with stage fright, an anti-heroine reaching through millenia to touch the present – all these fragments have one thing in common: a very specific relation between the audience and a person expected to perform. These relations usually follow established rules, which allow everyone involved a degree of certainty about how to come together in a certain space and time. These conventions are often unconsciously learned and repeated: the drag audience must cheer and yell encouragement at particular moments, cabaret acts show up at the agreed time, the actor can expect that the audience of bourgeois theatre will mostly remain silent and then clap for a long time at the end, a TV host can rely on the live studio audience to support his jokes – and when you meet your therapist your problems should at least be wrapped in an interesting story, no? It is also true that each of these sets of conventions comes with a cost and functions either by shutting out certain perspectives or reproducing oppressive hegemonies.

Too Much is inspired by the idea that these relations can change – not by aiming towards an all-inclusive utopian scenario or a participatory hell, but rather by redrawing patterns of exclusion along less traditional lines: through appropriating relics of the Western theatre and music canon and references to living forms of (queer) community art; through creating ambiguous personae as well as space for them to evolve; and through a relaxed performance setting that acknowledges the variation of individual needs. The aesthetic questions – as well as their social and political implications – raised by this process and the performance itself are of course too much to resolve in one evening– but this work is hopefully an interesting contribution.

Concept, Choreography, Performance: Olympia Bukkakis Performance: Oozing Gloop Dramaturgy: Isabel Gatzke Set, Video: Camille Lacadee Costume: Jay Barry Matthews Sound: COOL FOR YOU (Vika Kirchenbauer) Light: Maika Knoblich Production Assistant: Paul Niedermayer Production: Lisa Gehring Texts: Johann Sebastian Bach, Olympia Bukkakis, Cher, Medea from Euripides (trans. Paul Dräger), Oozing Gloop, various weather reports With musical consultation from Thierry Tidrow, make-up advice from Purrja, acting advice from Elena Schmidt, dramaturgical input from Melanie Jame Wolf, and Alexis Mersmann making the green cloak.

A production by Olympia Bukkakis in co-production with SOPHIENSÆLE, supported by the Capital Cultural Fund.

Photography: Mayra Wallraff