by

March 7, 2011

Do you like this?

If you want to explore the depths of mankind’s sadness, go to Disneyland. That’s the conclusion drawn by the main character's two children, in the wonderfully titled I’d rather Goya robbed me of sleep than some other arsehole. He’s got rather different ideas: he wants to withdraw his savings, get on a flight to Madrid, ply his children with Glenfiddich, beer, Serrano ham and Rioja, hire philosopher Peter Sloterdijk to entertain them, and then break into the Prado and look at Goya all night. Guess what they end up doing?

Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz

Kurfürstendamm 153, 10709 Berlin

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030 8900 20

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    This is the surreal mind of Madrid-based writer-director Rodrigo García, whose one-man rant is brought to life superbly by Schaubühne regular Lars Eidinger. From the opening scene where small avalanches of books fall out of his stuffed animal costume as he explains how he acquired his precious library by dubious means, you know you’re in for a treat.

    A full-sized taxi designed by García, decked out like a giant mirrorball and superbly lit by Carlos Marquerie is all that is needed to transport the audience into a marvellous, mad world. García’s monologue has been adapted for local audiences – his raving about how Hertha fans learn the fundamentals of stoicism was especially appreciated. No subject is exempt from García’s scathing commentary, from sex and the uselessness of making lists, to how Peter Sloterdijk, whose monotonous words blare from a ghetto blaster held by an anonymous figure in a cloth sack, is so hip at the moment.

    Eidinger eats up the space, balancing cynicism and playfulness with an honesty that keeps the audience eating out of his hand. Chaos spurts all over the stage in the form of beer, smoke, and books (his attempt to navigate the room stepping only on metre-high book piles is riveting). It was all too much for one audience member; maybe it was the combination of bone-jarring bass and being blasted in the face by a hand-held smoke machine. You can almost see Eidinger giggling at the intermittent moments of discomfort.

    García’s direction does tend towards over-use of projections - a frequent Schaubühne trope - and there are moments when the action sags, but by and large Eidinger’s energy carries it through. The glitterball taxi is a perfect metaphor: it’s an overblown, exuberant, and very fun ride.

    I’D RATHER GOYA ROBBED ME OF SLEEP THAN SOME OTHER ARSEHOLE | 11th F.I.N.D Festival, Schaubühne, for full program go to schaubuehne.de. Through March 13

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    March 7, 2011

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