Benjamin Abel Meirhaeghe’s German debut as a director at the iconic Volksbühne theatre in Berlin

In his first production in Germany, director Benjamin Abel Meirhaeghe investigates the destruction that is fundamental to the evolution of humankind. He reflects on birth, life and death and explores radical intimacy. In the beginning there was chance and the absolute impossibility of us coming together. And yet we are together in the here and now, in the constant ‘in between’. The world as we knew it is falling apart. But did we already know that, in fact?

Inspired by Sabina Spielrein and Elias Canetti, among others, DEATH DRIVE turns against so-called life and the certainty of death in performative images that refer to Hieronymus Bosch's ‘The Garden of Delights’. On stage, designed by Bart Van Merode and Zaza Dupont, eight seasons and transforming landscapes unfold, intertwining in all their explosive radicality and trying to escape the ever-recurring cycles of existence. The cast includes Benny Claessens, who has lived and worked in Germany for many years and is now a permanent member of the Volksbühne ensemble. The soundscape is by Bully Fae Collins, who will also perform in Meirhaeghe’s next Toneelhuis project, Shelly Shonk Fiffit.

The show can be seen at the Volksbühne in Berlin on 23 and 27 November and 3 and 26 December 2023. Further performance dates will be announced later; there are no plans for a tour.

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