Dave and Dave. Two Man United fans. In T-shirts of “their” football team they wander about Nitra. A shoot next to a city´s monument, beer in the hand, shopping. And the shortest way to some bar. Who would not know all the stories about the “beer tourists” who a few years ago flooded Eastern-European cities? The Wunderbaum ensemble was inspired by this phenomenon and developed a hilarious performance about the biggest stereotypes that rule over the minds of the Western-Europeans concerning Eastern Europe. Dave and Dave mouth off the local ways of living which are not good enough for them. Except for cheap chicks and beer.
The performance of Beertourist is in the first plan a thoroughly accurate and witty caricature of British hooligans who attack everything with their unlimited arrogance. No one and nothing is better than them. Nevertheless, this Wunderbaumian persiflage not only makes you laugh, it also freezes you. It precisely shows what hatred and racism is hidden in narrow-minded and primitive prejudices of primitive and uneducated people.
The Wunderbaum examines not only the phenomenon of beer tourists and their chauvinism, but also the problem of the coexistence of the western countries and post-socialist nations within the EU, where it vibrates with what may be called the opposite of the unity. The criterion of who is “better”, is, of course, indicated by money and more often by religion. By the way, a football fan could easily be treated as a secularized form of a religious fanatic.
Paraphrasing important Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, it can be said that in the beer tourists there is no meekness concerning local worlds, meekness concerning the rules of these worlds, because the fact that the tourist has chosen his excursion allows him to pick at the world he is visiting. “It was actually his will which created the world he is visiting, the world which is worthy of his interest – and this world has to fulfil tourist’s expectations, it has to struggle to be worthy of another visit. The tourist pays, the tourist requires.” (Bauman, Essays in Postmodern Morality).
In 2005, Matijs Jansen and Walter Bart – outstanding NTGent actors, established with their friends their own theatre group called the Wunderbaum, under the wings of the Productiehuis Rotterdam and NTGent. Their projects are often conducted in site-specific locations and deal with extreme aspects of today´s society: socially spoilt families from the margin or religious fanaticism in western countries. The Wunderbaum has gained high praise and received the Mary Dresselhuysprijs prize for their bold approach of current issues. The Beertourist was developed for the European theatre project Black/North Seas. In the 2008/2009 season it was performed in night clubs and harbour pubs along the Black Sea (Odessa, Varna, Mangalia, Istanbul). In 2009/2010 it is to be presented in harbour cities along the North Sea (Helsingborg, Göteborg, Tromsø, Skegness) and placed in the NTGent´s repertoire.
concept, directed by and performed by Walter Bart, Matijs Jansen
set design: Maarten van Otterdijk
co-production: lack orth SEAS and roductiehu s Rotterdam
Theatre group Wunderbaum includes actors Maartje Remmers, Marleen Scholten, Matijs Jansen, Wine Dierickx and Walter Bart. The group came into existence in 2005 under the wings of the Rotterdam Producing House and NTGent. In their productions they examine some of the sub-cultures in today´s society (family on social security, religious fanatics, romantics with a great urge for self-sacrifice, football supporters...). A recurring theme in Wunderbaum´s repertoire is the tension between great ideologies and the difficult transition thereof to the actual daily reality. (Welcome in My Backyard, 2006). Socio-political theme was dealt with in the performance Sauraus about local authorities in a small provincial town. The production Ten Commandments (2007 – 2009) is an adaptation of Krzysztof Kieślowski´s film series about the fortunes of the inhabitants of a block of flats. Wunderbaum received the Mary Dresselhuysprijs Prize for their bold approach of current issues in site specific productions Welcome in my Back Yard and Magna Plaza.
Script of the production: SK, EN
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