This is a perfectly valid attempt at ‘big issue’ theatre of the type that sometimes gets ignored when theatre-makers overreach and cover too many bases at once. A slightly clunky exposition and not-always-wonderful acting will take you through the trials and tribulations that come with the process of adopting a child from a foreign country.
…there are certainly a couple of moving moments in the show. But the effect is largely pedagogical.
French-Vietnamese writer-director Caroline Guiela Nguyen has adapted the piece for a German audience and there are certainly a couple of moving moments in the show. But the effect is largely pedagogical. Bizarrely, Schaubühne advertises the show as a magical realist piece, setting it in a fictional ‘Children’s Office’ – basically an amalgamation of various agencies and Behörden that would be responsible for such a thing. But the performances and setting are probably the most naturalistic Berlin has ever seen.
This does sometimes make it engaging, but the choice to have many of the show’s most important scenes play out over pre-recorded video chat dialogues is questionable. If you’re interested in the topic and like your theatre very clearly related to the real world, you’ll probably enjoy this; if not, maybe avoid.
- Kindheitsarchive (Childhood Archives), showing until 22.1.23 at Schaubühne (with English & French surtitles), visit the website for more information.