STUFF YOUR CAKEHOLE with s.o.a.p. and get h.a.p.p.y.

"partial visibility" with behind-the-scenes live coverage,
Berlin's Volksbühne is NOTHING in comparison

... I hardly know how to express my joy and glee, actually, I'm still so excited, amazed, breathless, after the wonderful wonderful theatre epiphany that I had last week. After countless unsuccessful attempts (pretentious boredom: Patrice Chéreau featuring Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, unbearable and catastrophic: Christoph Marthaler, a little better: Peter Sellars for Festwochen, not to speak about some rather ghastly Burgtheater experiences) to see some decent, entertaining, nice dramatic art, I finally - and more or less by chance - found what I was looking for. It was during an interview with the graphic design duo Eva Dranaz and Jochen Fill that they mentioned the satirical project entitled S.O.A.P., a theatrical soap opera persiflage conceived and produced by Herr Tomtschek and the "H.A.P.P.Y." gang. A look back: Mr Tomtschek and his joyful crew started a legendary series of clubbings including absurd performances in the nineties, and I was a huge fan and assiduous follower of theirs when I came to Vienna (the older I got, the less assiduously I followed them, because of the boulot-métro-dodo trap that you might be familiar with).

the inimitable Cliffhanger-choreography performed on stage, and cliffhangers there were

Okay, so what S.O.A.P. is actually all about can hardly be summed up in words (the video trailers that you can find on YouTube eloquently demonstrate this great difficulty). Just like in any "real TV soap", the action is manifold and confusing. Intrigues, love, passion, murder, countless coma patients, sex (the pivotal point, I would say), and lots of, uhm, rhubarbing. Wonderful. Unfortunately, I had missed the two preceding episodes and only started with episode # 1002 (to accelerate things a little, the first episode of S.O.A.P. was officially labelled as the 1000th), but I was quick to understand - that there's nothing to understand, really. Just like in real life. There's no point to it, and full stop. Except for learning about the all-important concept of the CLIFFHANGER, which was the evening's dominant theme. And you know, that's a really really precious kind of knowledge that I wouldn't want to miss. For a cliffhanger apparently is that point where an episode or even an entire series stops and leaves you in the dark about a character's future (my all time favourite: a terrorist attack at a Carrington family member's wedding, where the last scene was endless butchery and you really had to wonder whether Aaron Spelling would let the whole thing continue in the first place).

drama! drama!! drama!!!

Right, and of course, even though episode 1003 will not be on stage before autumn, these H.A.P.P.Y. people will be back with a temporary CAKEHOLE pastry performance from June 19 to 26 in Vienna's 17th district. You can find out everything you need to know about this "happyning" on the website of Kulturnetz Hernals. I think I'll stick to Marie Antoinette's infamous stupidity and indeed have cake instead of bread in this promising setting.

such darlings, the cast of S.O.A.P. - theatre stars that you would really like to befriend... boohoo!!

Un peu épuisé déjà après tant d'affabilité à l'anglaise, mais voyons donc pour les faits essentiels : je viens de découvrir un nouveau spectacle tout à fait extraordinaire, hors de l'habituel, très très très amusant. Le tout s'appelle S.O.A.P., c'est un persiflage de la totalité des soap-opéras télévisés, et cela ne se passe pas la télé mais sur scène. Ce magnifique projet théatral qui fut lancé il y a deux ou trois mois par Herr Tomtschek et les associés du collectif H.A.P.P.Y., à Vienne (les "h.a.p.p.y." people ont, depuis les années 90, organisé des soirées techno formidables). Le premier épisode, c'était officiellement déjà le 1000ème, en effet, pourquoi ne pas accélérer un tantinet les choses. Eh ben voilà, pour ce qui est du contenu, il n'y a pas grand-chose à raconter puisque, de toute manière, le contenu reste plutôt incompréhensible - comme dans quelconque "vrai" soap qui tient à sa réputation. Et puis, bon, pour l'instant S.O.A.P. fait une petite pose et ne recommence qu'en automne (ce qui est tout à fait tragique après que les acteurs ont servi un chiffre impressionnant de soi-disant CLIFFHANGERS aux spectateurs). Mais, pour consoler un peu les anciens et les nouveaux fans des happynings, Mr. Tomtschek et ses amis vont participer au festival de l'arrondissement de Hernals du 19 au 26 juin (cliquez ici pour plus d'info en allemand), où ils offriront du gâteau et des tartes à tous ceux qui sont prêts à descendre dans une cave à pâtisseries. Mmmmh, ça promet ...

in for some cake? eager to stuff your cakeholes with fantastic sweet creations? well, no prob ...

Uffi, ascoltatemi bene perché recentemente ho scoperto qualcosa che v'interesserà sicuramente. Si tratta del progetto teatrale concepito e realizzato da Herr Tomtschek ed il collettivo col nome - programmatico - H.A.P.P.Y. Li conosco dagli anni novanta quando, per me, appena arrivato dalla lontana e molto provinciale Carinzia, sono stati una vera rivelazione. Durante anni e anni hanno soprattutto organizzato delle serate tecno, ma sempre includendo i cosiddetti HAPPYNINGS, dunque una specie di performance molto satirica, umoristica, divertente. Di lì al teatro vero e proprio è stato solo un passo, e qualche mese fa è stato lanciato il progetto S.O.A.P., una parodia molto molto molto riuscita delle soap-opera televisive. Il primo episodio che ci fosse è già stato, ufficialmente si capisce, il millesimo, e infatti, perché perdere tempo. Sesso, droghe, invidia, gelosia, pazienti in coma, intrighi - c'è proprio di tutto. Di tutto ciò che si vuole, anche. Poi, sfortunatamente, adesso S.O.A.P. fa una pausa estiva, ma per tutti i tifosi inhappicizzati, c'è un altro promettente progetto che si realizza dal 19 al 26 giugno nell'ambito del festivale di Hernals (si tratta di un borgo viennese), intitolato BUCO DELLA TORTA. Cosa c'è esattamente dentro questo buco, se si tratta unicamente di torte o se magari c'è ancora qualcosa di più, lo vedranno tutti costoro che hanno il coraggio d'esplorarlo ...

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