<a href="https://www.de24.news/"><img class="alignnone size-medium" src="https://www.de24.news/a1/de24.png" alt="© www.de24.news" width="400" height="20" /></a> The re are still no performances in the Volkstheater in Vienna. But a tour of the newly renovated theater, whose new director Kay Voges is still waiting to finally get started, is allowed. And what has been offered to visitors since today, Saturday, afternoon, deserves the title worth seeing and hearing. In "Black Box" you are sent on a solo tour through the house with headphones at five-minute intervals. </p><div> <p><a href="https://www.de24.news/"><img class="alignnone size-medium" src="https://www.de24.news/a1/de24.png" alt="© www.de24.news" width="400" height="20" /></a> The 90-minute audio walk, the concept of which was originally invented by Stefan Kaegi and the Rimini Protokoll group for the Théâtre Vidy in Lausanne, which was demolished shortly thereafter, is an adventure that requires a lot of concentration. You have to put on white thread gloves in the new cloakroom, after all you have to press down a lot of door buckles as a result, and although you only occasionally see other scouts moving through the house as if by remote control, the FFP2 mask is mandatory. <a href="https://www.de24.news/"><img class="alignnone size-medium" src="https://www.de24.news/a1/de24.png" alt="© www.de24.news" width="400" height="20" /></a> The most important utensil, however, is a pair of stereo headphones, through which you can receive instructions, but also end up in the middle of a conversation or listen to your "own" steps in the many staircases.</p>
The audio tour is perfectly done and strictly timed. It is wise not to let your thoughts wander too much, because instructions can come at any time that you have to follow immediately. Since “Black Box” follows the principle of a single long live recording, you occasionally receive commands such as “Freeze”, “Close-Up”, “Tracking”, “Pan” or “Action”. If you don’t open the right door, turn to the right side and move in the right direction in the stairwells, you can quickly get lost. For safety, the headphones have an emergency telephone number. But the instruction staff at the start assures that no one has ever called. Sleight of hand. The course has only just begun. As the seventh of 55 people that afternoon, you set out on the journey.
First you have to sit in the former cash register. It won’t remain the only mini-room, because you can also go into a smelly basement room where the cooling system is located, into the tiny prompter box or into the last quiet place where the actors can relieve themselves before their big performance . For a long time it is really the promised exciting tour of discovery “through all corners of the house behind, under, above and on the stage”. In the restored, listed “Führerzimmer”, you can imagine attending a conceptual rehearsal, you get a glimpse of the tailoring, the new mask, the prop, and you meet the only living person at the new reception with the porter (“Please do not address”) and can take a drink from the ice chest in the conference room. What you don’t see are the new actors’ dressing rooms, and the director’s room is also left on the right.
To do this, you go to a technical bridge, to the lower stage, to the stage manager’s desk and even to the stage itself. On the side stage you can spread theater fog at the push of a button before you have to prepare for your performance in the “alley” Ear a conversation between Doris Weiner and Hasti Molavian about stage fright and fear of performing. The n the step into the spotlight and from there the view into the black hole of the auditorium. When you practice the bow shortly afterwards, you know that you had at least two spectators on your Volkstheater stage debut: the tour participant in the auditorium and the one in the prompter.
Via the VIP lounge and the mayor’s box you go to the Rote Bar. The re you will find a small piece of paper with a message that the previous woman left. It says (in the case of the reviewer): “See you soon in the wonderful theater illusion machine!” The re is nothing to add. And until then, enjoy the illusion that it is only being started for you in the “frame of the box”. Go there! Look at! Let yourself be enchanted!
(SERVICE – “Black Box” by Stefan Kaegi / Rimini Protokoll. Dramaturgy: Aljoscha Verhich, Christoph Gurk, sound design: Nikolas Neecke, sound: Sebastian Hartl, audio editing: Johanna Hirzberger, lighting design: Julian Paget, lighting equipment and building: Markus Hirscher Video editing: Max Hammel, with Bettina Lieder (voice off), Volkstheater employees and experts, Volkstheater Wien, next available dates: 6th and 13th March, from 1 p.m., 7th and 14th March, each time from 11 a.m., slots every 5 minutes for one visitor, duration approx. 90 minutes, www.volkstheater.at/stueck/blackbox/)