Misbehave! Felix Ruckert’s United Kingdom on show again

By Malah Helman/ Montag, May,5 2008 @ 6:40pm •

Another world can easily be accessed. Just make a phone call at Schwelle 7 and get an appointment for Felix Ruckerts UK which was created 2 years ago. UK is an interactive piece mixing several aspects from role plays, hierarchy games with tools from sm and bondage. With this piece Felix Ruckert again explores the fields of interactive theatre. UK goes a lot for figures, archetypes, costumes and fantasy and maybe also the attraction of power. If we could all be kings and queens once upon a time. The passivity of the spectator is a criticized phenomena of modern society. Here you can act your inner visions out. The construction is that of a fictional fairy tale setting which leaves enough space to fit in.

I stayed nearly 12 hours with the international English speaking cast and I was not bored a minute but astonished by the variety of situations and actions. In the first round a very sweet fatty baby took charge of me. Baby easily offered me a bunch of costumes and somehow we agreed that I would be Gilda the good witch from the East and so I was introduced to king Harry the 1st and his court, which included amongst others the master of ceremony, an Hungarian ambassador, a dancer from the Moulin Rouge and a man who wanted to be a woman. I was asked to obey which being a witch I could not fulfill. The king did not like provocative women and therefore offered me some candies. After a while the crown passed on to the drunken sailor. During the break an excellent dinner was served and everybody slipped back in the so called real world. The evening came and the next round was about to begin. This time we had a queen and I was still figuring among the guests. The queen asked placed the court and via the positions the characters have been created. Everybody got dressed and this time the court contained a princess, an elf, a Chinese ambassador, some slaves and a fool. My host was Luigi from Sicily, a Mafiosi-like looking guy who later turned out to be a stunning blonde. Luigi asked me how am I and where I am from. I had no clue- before I was thinking of being a cat because a had such a desire for caresses, but somehow said that I did come from a place unknown.

And then I remembered an episode from Star Wars, a planet where people would appear like shining lights and so I decided to be such a figure who shines while world is in darkness. Luigi then to warm me up asked me to hobble, to wing my arms and to bounce.

At the end I found myself bouncing like a frog into the costume chamber. Here I got dressed and, imagine, my dress resembled very much that of the Star Wars episode. It was white and loose. I had a stola which I put over my had.

I moved it to make it seem flickering. And so I flickered into the court, but my black tights displeased the queen- even if I explained that they are my wicks. So back to the dressing room we found red boots and no I felt like being in flames. Back into the court again I was accompanied by the fool who held an umbrella to protect me the flickering light from the rain. Later I was blindfolded and guided by Luigi from Sicily through various situations.

And strangely enough I met mostly characters who were eager to caress. And also Luigi turned out to be very soft. So I had my share and left very happy and contemplative. Everybody has been so sensible and attentive, things has been so nice to watch, leaving a feeling like being in a place named Wonderland.

I discovered something shining in me, which is a very powerful gift. After a while I thought that the queens reign was softer as the kings one and that it is a pity for this world that these female qualities are so underestimated.

Malah Helman

Premiere at Tacheles, Berlin, Sept, 18 – Oct, 15, 2006

Performers “Inner Circle”: Dasniya Sommer, Lara Martelli, Mo Herzinger, Boris Jarosch, Phillipp Wittulsky, Karl Frost, Dorothea Seror, Felix Ruckert, Mona Blue, Paul Hasler / Performers “Outer Circle”:  40 local dancers& volunteers / Music: created by the performers / Concept& Choreography: Felix Ruckert

United Kingdom is an interactive performance project with different degrees of participation.  There is not only the usual roles of performer and spectator, but several possibilities in between.  The visitor can choose a certain perspective or participatory model, the audience is fragmentized, the collective gaze is destabilized. The observing role is seen as an empathic-theatrical role that interacts with what is observed. Therefore the perfomance is to be discovered step by step and layer by layer, depending on how much engagement the guest wants to invest.

Based on the idea of creating an utopic society United Kingdom  functions on a corpus of laws and rules. It allows its members to explore different degrees of dominance and submission in the frame work of a fictional kingdom.  The central mission of the kingdom is the elaboration of play structures that allow the authentic experience of emotions such as fear, pain, anger, aggression, sadness and weakness but also trust, strength, kindness, pleasure, connection and devotion to happen.  These play structures may include choreography, scenario, role play, ritual and drama.

The underlying idea is overtly political: often seemingly democratic groups claiming equality of its members are nevertheless structured by hiddenhierarchy. Our personal relationships as well are often marked by more or less conscious power games. United Kingdom openly performs and exposes systems of order and obedience by means of pre-negotiated roles, and therefore allows the conscious experience of power relations in a safe and supportive environment.

United Kingdom  is open to persons who aim to discover the making of performance ‘hands on’ and to play ‘for real’ games which will allow various emotions to happen in a secure and playful environment.

Production: Cie Felix Ruckert-Berlin e.V. / Tacheles Berlin / Compagnie Felix Ruckert Berlin e.V. is supported by the Senat für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kultur Berlin.

Other performances: Berlin, schwelle7, April, 28 – May, 4, 2008 / Berlin, schwelle7, June, 13 – 15, 2008 / Berlin, schwelle7, July, 4-6, 2008 /