Kafka's story Der Bericht für eine Akademie (A Report to an Academy) recounts an instance of becoming human. An ape called Red Peter has integrated himself seamlessly into imperial and royal high society. There was a time when he was hauled away and imprisoned but now, through a mad learning process, he’s made his way from the zoo through the circus into the centre of human society. But assimilation comes with a high price: giving up one’s origins, betraying one’s identity, the realisation that the human world is more »apish« than the ape world. Where is there a place for the Red Peters, the non-standardised, the homeless, the non-conformists? What is the cost of standardising, integrating, conforming? Throughout his stories Kafka regularly returns to themes of animals stumbling into the social systems of humans. Animals as the relatives that hold a mirror up to our human history repressed behind the mask of civilisation, animals as a disruption, but also as hunted, endangered and outcast. Hiding behind all this is also the question of civilised conformity, which is required to become fully human, even when the subjugation of one’s own origin is connected to it. Known for his civilisation-critical provocations, it’s not surprising that Oliver Frljić has chosen Kafka’s story Ein Bericht für eine Akademie as the basis of his second production for the Gorki. Using the narrative material as a basis, he develops a story of a brutal incarnation and interrogates the self- and externally-inflicted violation of one who once knew freedom and then landed in the prison of the privileged, the conformed, the standardised.
Premiere: February 8th, 2019
Baboon: Jeany (Film school Harsch)
Animal trainer: René Harsch
Photo: Esra Rotthoff
Aufführungsrechte: henschel SCHAUSPIEL Theaterverlag Berlin