W - Workers' Circus was born as a form of theatre workshop. During its initial rehearsal period the company worked in the stronghold of Komárom in north-west Hungary, where some scenes were re-worked through links between the texts of Georg Büchner and Jószef Attila (the outstanding working class poet from the first half of the twentieth century). The next part was premiered in the village of Zsámbék, where thirteen scenes with the final cast were performed in the ruins of a gothic church. The version for theatre auditoriums was then premiered in September 2001, in Berlin. "We gave the play the name of 'Workers' Circus' because we see Wozzeck as a worker. He is a small man who has sprung up in the world, he is lonely and defenceless in all his fundamental relations, in his relation to God, to the Other One, and even to society," say the authors about their production. "We chose the title 'Circus' because we have tried to stimulate unanticipated moments when anything could happen in theatre, like those moments in the circus when the booming of drums is followed by deep silence."
"The production seeks to draw attention to the fact that we have forgotten quite a lot about the working class. We have forgotten about proletarians. I believe this play deals with this and I am happy that many people understand it in the same way. I see Workers' Circus as my most important work to date. It incorporates everything I have ever thought about the theatre." (Árpád Schilling in the interview for Magyar Narancs)
"With a talent similar to that of his German contemporary Thomas Ostermeier, Árpád Schilling seizes the stage like a ringmaster. His actors are wild, caged, it seems as if they were playing with their life on the sand. (...) It's crazy. The actors are naked. They collide, exchange blows, they are victims and manipulators. Theatre becomes circus to depict wildness in its entirety. Don't miss this radical and phenomenal artistic experiment."
(by Vincent Josse, France Inter)
"Flesh, sex, blows, murder: this Wozzeck presents a human slaughter-house denuded in its own inexorable brutality, encouraging viewers to fight, just like Wozzeck fights in its own physical, mental and social cage. This embarrassing situation would be pure and unbearable voyeurism without the ritualisation that re-establishes the distance between actors and audience, slaughter and its reflection."
(by Brigitte Salino, Le Monde)
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