The 10 Selected Productions

Like Lovers Do

(Memoirs of Medusa)

By Sivan Ben Yishai
German translation by Maren Kames

Münchner Kammerspiele

World premiere 10 September 2021

Sivan Ben Yishai’s text is not for the faint-hearted – equally graphic and poetic, it describes sexualised violence. Pınar Karabulut has found an impactful, abstract form for deeds that penetrate our skin, cutting off patriarchy’s air supply.

Five people stand on a stage, behind them are two large white pillars resembling rockets, poles or castle towers.

Like Lovers Do

© Krafft Angerer

  • 1 h 30 min, no interval
  • In German with English subtitles
  • For ages 16 and over

Past Dates

Trigger warning:
The text contains many descriptions of sexualizsed acts of violence which could have a debilitating and re-traumatising effect.

Public discussion
Wednesday, 18 May 2022 after the performance

Five best friends are imagining a future that will revolve around their dream men. Songlike dedications are addressed to their beloved. But wait – what do sexualised violence, toxic role images and the mythical character of the Medusa have to do with this? In her poetic and powerful text, Sivan Ben Yishai holds up a mirror to patriarchal gender models. Five strong actors form a kind of narrating body in Pınar Karabulut’s fast-paced production, which employs language and movement to translate Ben Yishai’s text into a score of almost painful directness.

Statement of the jury
Sivan Ben Yishai’s text is a darkly poetic “song” about structural sexism and sexualised violence, heaping dedication upon dedication: to all those who humiliate, hurt and kill with words and deeds, but also to those who turn a blind eye and those like Athena, who punishes Medusa for being raped by Poseidon. None of these things are actually seen on stage; no selfie-sticks zooming in on vaginas dripping with sperm, no bloody acts of castration, no individual stories of suffering. Pınar Karabulut’s five lamenters are gender-fluid creatures, visibly marked by pop culture’s duty to entertain. Dressed in alien-superhero-punk-costumes, their movements range from machine-like to ritual and they let their platinum wigs fly. But this intelligent positing certainly does not downplay the issue. The whole thing remains uncomfortable, even if in a different way than the text does: It is too loud, too shrill – all the way to the tongue-in-cheek ending that tries out various forms of empowerment.

 To juror Sabine Leuchtʼs video statement in the Berliner Festspiele Media Library (in German)

Artistic Team

Pınar Karabulut Direction, choreography
Michela Flück Stage design
Teresa Vergho Costume design
Daniel Murena Music
Jürgen Tulzer Lighting design
Mehdi Moradpour Dramaturgy

Gro Swantje Kohlhof, Jelena Kuljić, Bekim Latifi, Edith Saldanha, Mehmet Sözer

Wiebke Puls Voice

Performance rights: © Suhrkamp Verlag Berlin 2021

Programme brochure

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