Rhythmus ist alles, Rhythm is everything, headlined a (german) review of this "thrilling evening" in the Austrian newspaper Der Standard.
About the elemental force of punches: two professional boxers challenge each other to the beat of live drums. A tale of commitment and obsession - and the exceptional experience that is only possible in the ring.
At Ateliertheater (Burggasse 71, 1070 Vienna)
Premiere: 20th October 2022, 8 pm
Following Shows: 21st October and 3rd/4th/10th und 12th November 2022, 8 pm
With the professional boxers Christina Pöppelmeyer and Ahmet Simsek
Music arrangements & live drums: Lan Sticker
Text & Performance: Robert Prosser
Production: Georg Hartmann ATELIERTHEATER
A boxer talks – about his most important fight and about the fall of 2015. War is raging in Syria, refugees are reaching Europe, society is in turmoil. All of this resonates with the martial arts scene. And it becomes rhythm, music: drums and movement, speech and punches create an intense performance over the three rounds in the ring and all sorts of reasons that lead someone to surrender to this elemental experience.
Based on Robert Prosser's novel Gemma Habibi (published by Ullstein Verlag in 2019), the audience can expect a special combination of drama, sport and music. The book, which critics described as "great narrative art with a long reverberation" (3sat Kulturzeit), which "dances like a butterfly and stings like a bee" (Ö1), tells the story of a boxer who is fighting for the title of state champion. The performance extends this basis into a full-length show. The two professional boxers Christina Pöppelmeyer and Ahmet Simsek contribute their own skills and their experiences from a female and migrant point of view in a clichéd, but in fact extremely diverse scene.
The boxing club becomes a mirror for the challenges society faced in the fall of 2015, at the height of the so-called "refugee crisis". The wrestling match serves as a kind of metaphor to show on a small scale what is going on in our present time. Who ultimately wins or loses is not the central question, instead the story is told from a position of pain. Propelled by Lan Sticker's drumming, body, speech and movement form a new composition that reproduces boxing in all its force up close and relentlessly.