Production | The 10 Selected Productions

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A Play about Disappearance and Loss

By Helgard Haug (Rimini Protokoll) with music by Barbara Morgenstern in collaboration with the Zafraan Ensemble

A Rimini Apparat production in co-production with HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin), Volkstheater (Vienna), The Factory – Manchester International Festival, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm (Frankfurt am Main), PACT Zollverein (Essen)

World premiere 16 December 2021 (HAU Hebbel am Ufer)

Video trailer © Rimini Protokoll

Vacancies are at the centre of Helgard Haug’s text and staging, which interweaves a very personal tragedy with one that drew worldwide attention, while almost entirely eschewing spoken text.

Public discussion
Saturday, 14 May 2022 after the performance

In 2014, an airplane disappears from the radar without a trace. Almost at the same time, the father of author and director Helgard Haug begins to exhibit early symptoms of dementia. In her moving text, she combines these two stories and circles the vacancies left by the loss of human presence. Musicians of the Zafraan Ensemble interpret an original soundtrack by Barbara Morgenstern, while the text of this sad and beautiful, resonating concert-theatre show is projected onto a screen.

Statement of the jury

With enquiring, gentle persistence, Helgard Haug combines two very different topics into an extraordinary show: Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which disappeared from the radar without a trace on 8 March 2014, carrying 239 passengers, and the almost simultaneous onset of her father’s dementia. In her impressive, thoughtful text, she interweaves these events with each other, connecting her father’s disorientation, the malfunctions in his synapses and his family’s helplessness with the cessation of the transponder signal, the desperate search for pieces of wreckage and the helplessness of the bereaved. As a logical consequence, Haug works mainly with text projections and five musicians of the Zafraan Ensemble. The result is beautiful yet sad, highly concentrated theatre inside the spectator’s head, dedicated to one of life’s greatest issues: the question of disappearance – and death.

Tojuror Katrin Ullmannʼs video statement in the Berliner Festspiele Media Library (in German)

Artistic Team

Helgard HaugConcept, text, direction
Barbara MorgensternComposition
Zafraan EnsembleOrchestra
Johannes Benecke, Mia RainprechterHands
Emma Becker, Evi Filippou, Margot Gödrös, Mia Rainprechter, Ruth Reinecke, Louise Stölting and othersSpeakers
Evi BauerStage design
Marc JungreithmeierVideo/lighting design
Peter BreitenbachSound design
Premil PetrovićConductor
Davor Branimir VinczeArrangement
Juliane MännelDramaturgy
Aljoscha BegrichOutside Eye
Andreas Mihan, Martin SchweminTechnical directors
Lisa HomburgerResearch, assistant director
Christine RuynatCostume design, assistant stage design
Rozenn LièvreAssistant sound design
Louise StöltingProduction management

Matthias Badczong (clarinet), Daniel Eichholz / Evi Filippou (percussion), Josa Gerhard (violin), Martin Posegga (saxophone), Beltane Ruiz (double bass) Zafraan Ensemble – Musicians on Stage

Damir Bacikin (trumpet), Matthias Badczong (clarinet), Benedikt Bindewald (viola), Alice Dixon (cello), Josa Gerhard (violin), Florian Juncker (trombone), Liam Mallet (flute), Noa Niv (trombone), Yumi Onda (violin), Natalie Plöger (double bass), Martin Posegga (saxophone), Maria Reich (viola), Anna Viechtl (harp), Adam Weisman (percussion) Zafraan Ensemble – Musicians Recording

Mainland Media (Micha Kube), Frank BöhleRecording word
Lyz PfisterTranslation

Funded by Hauptstadtkulturfonds as well as Berliner Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa.

Performance rights: schaefersphilippen Theater und Medien GbR
Music rights: Barbara Morgenstern © Maobeat Musikverlag/Budde Music Publishing GmbH