About this Evening

At the beginning there is silence. Behind it lie experiences, memories and voids, characterised by shame, hypocrisy or pain. The more intensively and the further we listen into our body memory, the more we come across lives that have been passed down through generations and that have flowed into us through cells and stories. How do we deal with this inheritance? If we are connected to everything, can’t we also change things? Together with the ensemble, Leonie Böhm uses the great Swiss novel Blutbuch as a guide to explore this question. For them, the theatre is a fantastic place to examine the curses that have been carried down through generations. Here we make ourselves available to each other and experience real closeness and openness. Here we play, try out and experiment – live and, above all, together.

Leonie Böhm
Stage design
Zahava Rodrigo
Costume design
Mascha Mihoa Bischoff
Gerhard Patzelt
Helena Eckert
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Audience Development
Tali Furrer / Silvan Gisler
Touring & International Relations
Sonja Hildebrandt
Artistic Mediation Theatre & School
Zora Maag
Production assistant
Sarah-Maria Hemmerling
Stage design assistance
Jana Furrer
Costume design assistance
Noëmie  Cassagnau / Anna Toni Vyshnyakova / Ruth Wulffen
Production intern
Carolin Bodensteiner
Stage manager
Michael Durrer
János Stefan Buchwardt
Surtitles Setup
Anna Johannsen (Panthea)
Surtitles Translation
Yanik Riedo (Panthea)
Surtitles Operators
Josephine Scheibe / Kevin Mutter / Holly Werner
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Supported by Think Tank für Transformation, Diversität und Inklusion
A coproduction with the Wiener Festwochen

performance rights: schaefersphilippenTM, Theatre and Media GbR, Cologne.

About this Play

Blutstück. A Translation.

We are Grandmothermotherchild hybrids. Microchimeras. As it says in the book, we all harbour cells from our ‘Meere’, a Bernese German term that translates to both ‘mother’ and ‘sea’. Thus, we carry parts of our mothers (Meere), Grandmothers (Grossmeere) and Great-grandmothers (Ur-Grossmeere) throughout our lives within us, but also those of the sea, great sea and the primordial sea. And, of course, some of us. There is a whole world within us. In Blutbuch, Kim de l'Horizon's acclaimed debut, which was honoured with the Swiss and German Book Prize, among others, the narrator Kim traces stories, cells, memories and experiences that run through the family's own history. From the narrator’s own body to distant ancestresses. Blutbuch tells of the difficulty of finding the right words for the wounds of the past that reach into the present and yet trying to do so: to break the silence and give the woundless pain a mouth. How can we make this legacy flow within us again? Because, if we are connected to everything, then surely we can also change things?

"It seems to me that human beings can no longer do much with the central parts of their story. That they're always already told before human beings have told them. That the central passages have them at their mercy. That they narrate you and not you them. But that people can still do a lot at the edges of their story. That human beings can defend themselves against the story at the edges of their story."

One of the special encounters that have grown between the Schauspielhaus Zürich and the people of Zurich in recent years is that between Kim de l'Horizon and Leonie Böhm. With Blutstück, the two are taking a big step towards each other. Leonie Böhm is known for her radical adaptations of the classics: Johanna, based on Friedrich Schiller's Johanna von Orleans, was last seen here at the Schauspielhaus. Soon Medea* based on Euripides, which tells of resistance and radicalism, but also of the desire to recover, to transform, and to grow beyond oneself, will be performed again. Leonie Böhm declutters the old dramas in order to make the thoughts and emotions in them tangible in the here and now, in a shared moment, and thereby crystallise their transformative potential. Now, for the first time, she is focusing on contemporary material that already contains the will to engage in dialogue that she seeks in all her plays. Leonie Böhm's interest in theatre is linked to the desire formulated in Kim de l'Horizon's book: to be understood and to understand "what it was like to be you". The longing for an encounter at eye level, for overcoming our own boundaries and imposed conventions of silence, shame and hypocrisy, in order to be able to trust each other and show each other our skins.

Knowing that the result would not be a classic adaptation of the novel, Kim de l'Horizon approached Leonie Böhm to stage the world premiere. Kim de l'Horizon is thus not only releasing Blutbuch, after 10 years of writing alone, into a process with an open outcome, but is also taking the step onto the stage. To Leonie Böhm it is clear: if, unlike with classics, the person who wrote the text can be there, then that is the most beautiful theatre experiment and gift. Together with Gro Swantje Kohlhof, Sasha Melroch, Lukas Vögler and Vincent Basse, they want to give it a shot: metabolising the novel, throwing themselves into it, spinning it further to figure out together "how this shit gets into our veins."


Editor: Helena Eckert
Photography: Diana Pfammatter

Offizielle Ausstatter des Schauspielhauses Zürich:
MAC Cosmetics, Optiker Zwicker, PKZ Men & Women, Ricola, Südhang Weine, Tarzan Swiss Streetfashion