For Dena, money governs everything. An ultra-successful journalist, she is excruciatingly honest about what made her rich: being brazenly racist and throwing around big words she doesn’t even understand herself. When Lieferando courier Davide dies in her apartment, it sets off a chain of events that lead Dena to a mysterious village outside Berlin, where the poor are buried ex officio. Davide’s ghost, in the meantime, roams the stage dispersing uncomfortable truths about people who have been failed by the system.
Often through a fickle snap of the fingers, Dena will freeze the other characters and invite the audience into the abyss of her cynical mind. This becomes increasingly confusing towards the middle, further amplified by Dena’s hipsterish lingua-franca (English mixed with German and a lot of swearing), but is actually the key to the plot. Just as you start to tire of the hectic proceedings on stage, the plot twists like a corkscrew, delivering an ending that is impossible to foresee.
Fast-paced and funny, this piece offers an evening of easy entertainment that ends with a bang. But it also leaves you stewing with a catalogue of questions, partly regarding the plot, but mostly regarding the nature of the play’s overarching criticism of class structures. Some theatre-goers appreciate not being spoon-fed a message; others might find the play frustratingly difficult to unpack, especially given it only runs for an hour and twenty minutes. Regardless, if you embrace the chaos, you’ll be rewarded with serious laughs and a mighty finale. ★ ★ ★ ★
- Maxim Gorki, Mitte (In German with German and English surtitles) May 28