“Klein aber fein”
“Men in white” of Theater Horizont from Cologne
...Theatre is like a magnet, it's like a Gourmet food, or like a narcotic (of course, figuratively speaking). In the sense, that a true theatregoer develops some kind of profound dependency on Melpomene. On the adrenaline of the stage and of the odeum. On the whole Thespian medium. I’ve got addicted to it. And this supposition of mine got the practical confirmation. I have some letters to write and to prepare some documents, I have to do many other things... but instead I start typing and recording my spectators echo about the play “Das Herz eines Boxers” – “The heart of the Boxer” performed by the Theater Horizont from Cologne. This theatrical soiree was realized under the auspices of the Second International Theatre Festival “Klein aber fein” at the Theatre A Parte in Witten. (Address: Annenstrasse 20A, 58453 Witten).
And writing these lines I find my placating equilibrium, abstracting from the mundane hustle and bustle. Theatre – this is what really matters! Theatre – this is The Nirvana and the light in the end of the tunnel. Although the main theme of this dramatization might be described as melancholy and depression.
I watched the staging of “Das Herz eines Boxers” on July 10th, 2022. It was Sunday.
...I would like to say, that the brief questions and answers session, mini “press conference”, which took place after the play, did help me quite a lot to propitiate my sombre agitated moods. As I, probably, felt like after having watched Alfred Hitchcock's movie. With the only difference, that “Das Herz eines Boxers” is not a thriller, but a very truthfully narrated sad story. Of the former boxing champion, who appeared in much unexpected, very long lasting life circumstances. The dolors and grieves of every day being, of uncertainty of tomorrow are being very pronouncedly parleyed in the thorough acting manner by Waldemar Hooge, who portrayed the Boxer. Marc Alexander, acting out as the Youth, was also instrumental in unrolling the subject line of this performance and aggravating the tensions of the drama.
Yes, for me “Das Herz des Boxers” was the staging, first of all, with the dramatic, tragic context. The suspension of the dawning doom was very clearly sensed in this work of the drama art. Although, I must admit, that its dramatization at times sensed even as the comedy, they were there several humorous episodes...
But for me the most memorable scene of the “Das Herz des Boxers” was the one, when the Boxer and the Youth as if time transported themselves into the times of glory of the Red Leo.
When Leo (Waldemar Hooge) really was “fluttering like a butterfly”... luckily, for the Youngster – The Youth (Mark Alexander) and for the spectators in the odeum he didn't “sting like a bee” on stage. And I would allow myself to smile at that...
In our lives, sometimes (or even often) we feel like being boxed down into the corner, or even knocked out. But seeing the implied – assumed liberation of the Boxer from the societal and self-inflicted dogmatic confines in “Das Herz eines Boxers” would lead many of the viewers into the reviving and asserting the sense of new beginning that after morose rain and dark clouds, there would come the brighter sunnier hours. This play is a psychological drama, but verbatim a lyrical touching story too. With a glimpse of hope. With the beams of Sol at the Horizon.
The chamber theatre format of this staging also helped the spectators, including my own self, to feel even more close to the life peripeteia of the two characters, of Leo and of the Youth (I deliberately, omit the nickname “Yoyo”) and empathize with their aspirations, trials and tribulations of their life paths.
At the concluding press conference / questions and answers session the actors put on the white shirts. And it felt like the thrilling suspense doom of the play was bleached out and diluted. The fiction of play script was smoothed out by the reality of the play’s storytelling.
I would like to express my gratitude to the Horizont Theater from Cologne, to the actors Waldemar Hooge, Mark Alexander and to the stage director Volker Hein for this boxing with my inner self theatrical experience.
And the Theatre A Parte from Witten for hosting the Second International Theatre Festival “Klein aber Fein”. Thank You very much!
Pinkhas - Peter Friesen
...I’ve also read that being a professional boxer is not only dangerous, but also a quite unrewarding profession. That, through some reason, in many countries boxers don’t receive the pension... If this is really the case, then it should be changed. Don’t You think so?.. Watching the play "”Das Herz des Boxers” I kept on wondering: What was the financial situation of the Red Leo?..
On the evening of July 7th, 2022 I had the pleasure to witness a very elegant, very peculiar and very fascinating cultural event. Namely, the festive opening of the Second International Theater Festival “Klein aber fein” organized by the Theatre A Parte in Witten. And being conducted at the very cozy and cute premises of the aforementioned Theatre. Yes, with the capital letter “T”.
First of all, I would like to thank wholeheartedly the Theatre A Parte for this invitation. And, please, let me describe, in the chronological time line order the sequence of that evening. It was a very benevolent weather, thus, the welcoming words of Boris Schwarzmann, in German and Russian languages, were complemented by the pleasing Zephyr breeze of the Gulfstream. I sensed its soothing air born vibrations. In the hindsight I am asserting myself in this impression. And also would like to thank the interpreter. The words of the Theatre A Parte scenic director Boris Schwarzmann were parlayed with precision and in timbre, dignifying the aura of the stage.
After the greeting word by Boris Schwarzmann there took place the musical piano performance by Noah. I think that one of the scores in these sky-scraping jazz improvisations sequences did belong to George Gershwin. Next time I go to the performance or Festival at Theatre A Parte I would like to confirm my musical guess. Possibly, my theatrical moods and expectations were tuned to the rhapsody, oceanic rhapsody sentiments (Dortmund is a very big inland port connected with the ocean).
The musical part of the opening ceremony was lead into the drama stage performance, acted by two actresses Katya Beil and Jessica. With Katya Beil I had the chance to talk before the performance and during the play too! As she “appointed” me the guardian of her character's luggage! Two huge checkered bags! And for me, especially, during the performance, this was quite an involving dramatic task. Which fulfilled even more my sense of appreciation for being the spectator at this Thespian event.
...The story of two women, heading for the chef's competition from the two different parts of United Germany is very touching and very humorous. And the psychological portraits of the two major heroines of this story, painted on stage with the bright, humorous and refined acting colours, were idiosyncratic for the society dramatis personae from Germany of the 1990s and the migration fusion between United Germany and former USSR, experiencing agonizing pangs of disintegration. I think. And they were intrinsically connected with those turbulent times, humorously, brilliantly comedically enlivened on stage.
There were, indeed, the moments of stark laughter, of reminiscing not so far-fetched past, of warm nostalgia... and of the sadness too. Many moments to award actresses with the claps of ovations and vivant, recuperating thoughts!
These were the moments projected at the audience from the stage on the evening of July 7th, 2022 in Theatre A Parte in Witten.
It was also very nice to converse briefly with Katya Beil, Jessica and Noah during the après staging party. And express my gratitude for their acting, dramatic, musical contribution for the “Klein aber fein” of Theatre Festival. And, especially, to Katya Beil, who gregariously granted me the right to be the actor too. Even if just for the duration of several, very fleeting eloping instances. Yes, I am in love with the Theatre!
Special Thanks to the hostess of this Chamber Gala, to Julia Joswig who is daughter of Katya and Boris. The hospitable ambience and very nice treats were the integral congenial part of this convivial theatrical fête.
I would dare to think and guess that Melpomene would have been very pleased with the debut soiree of this elegantly boutique Theatre Festival. I did sense the Thespian spirit there. And do believe, that the standing ovations and exclamations “Encore - encore!” und “Bravo!” are to be resonating through the space of the Theatre a Parte, (through its invisible arching vaults of Theater history), many more times in the upcoming days and evenings of the Festival!
Klein aber sehr fein! Very much fine!
I hope to be asserting more and more in those first impressions of mine. Theatre A Parte in Witten has opened its doors for the audience. This July does promise to be quite dramatic in Witten and in North Rhine-Westphalia! In the Thespian sense, I mean.
Pinkhas – Peter Friesen
(in Israeli passport: Petr Frizen)
German Version of the Article:
Crown Your inner Clown!
I would like to thank wholeheartedly Lena Binski and Theater A Parte for this experience. For the possibility to feel myself in the circus again. On its arena. To be in the midst of the Big Top!
It was a very interesting experience in pantomime, mimicking, plasticity, scenic improvisations.
This workshop is a very good opportunity to discover your own artistic potential and creative inclinations. And the Theatre and Circus goers of absolutely all the ages would find it very involving and fascinating. Discover the hidden Clown within Yourself!
Thank You very much Lena Binski!
Thank You very much Theatre A Parte!
Thank You very much “Klein aber Fein” International Theatre Festival!
Participant of this workshop,
Pinkhas - Peter Friesen
INTEGRATION – russischer Döner mit Kartoffelsalat
Sonorous and acoustic! Liza Kos and Vladimir Andrienko
Second International Theatre Festival “Klein aber Fein”
Comedy, Cabaret and Music!
INTEGRATION – Russian Döner with the potato salad
With the Sweet Rakhat Lukum Taste
On Sunday 24, 2022 at 19:00 this remarkable performance took place. But I would like to commence my narration in the reverse chronological order of these 120 plus minutes. It was very interesting and knowledgeable to communicate with Liza Kos and Vladimir Andrienko at their après le spectacle press conference. To learn their life stories, integration experiences. The biographies, with which many people in the audience, I suppose, could connect to. Liza told about the dialogues with her son, Vladimir narrated stories of his family tree, when it was blooming in the former USSR. Spanning the wide geography of the Soviet Union, this duet of the artistic personalities made the distances between North Rhine-Westphalia, Moscow and Kazakhstan melt on Witten stage. It was a very humorous, friendly, nostalgic composition. One, of course, can call it “the stand-up” comedy, or the sitcom. But personally for me it was more, than simply that. These were touching stories of two people, with whom I shared a little bit of the common past. A little bit of common geography.
The guitar lyrics and melodies played by Liza were very humorous, embroidered with the good taste and excellent rhymes.
Vladimir’s monologues evoked the best possible associations conceivable in the comedy genre. Turkish styled monologues by Liza Kos also gave a very special Anatolian flavourful aura to the whole performance.
And applying Vladimir’s tag line I would like to say, that Liza Kos and Vladimir Andrienko were much more, than simply “akustisch gehört” – acoustically heard. They were hearkened to through their performance! And heard with the heart, with understanding, with smiles and ovations!
And, Liza, thank You very much for Your prompting in the joke about the sandwich (das belegtes Brötchen). Your mimics helped me to realize the difference “geleckt – gelegt”....Highly Esteemed Theatre Goers, if You are learning German language, the performance by Liza Kos and Vladimir Andrienko would be also a very useful educational experience for You! Make sure You don’t miss it!!!
It was a lovely and humorous chord in concluding the Second International Theater Festival "Klein Aber Fein", which took place at the Teater A Parte at Witten. At the Annenstrasse 20 A (58453 Witten).
I would like to express my wholehearted sincere gratitude to the organizers and participants of this charmingly wonderful Thespian extravaganza in Witten, in North Rhine-Westphalia.
I was very glad to be Your guest. And do sincerely hope to see Your performances many more times again in the future!
Thank You very much!
Sincerely Thespianly Yours,
“O! My Bear! O! Panda Mia!”
„Why not the Bear?“ by and with Lena Binski (Berlin)
Participative Installation and Performance
...Before this extraordinary cultural event I was pondering and brooding over it. The word “bear” - what do I know about it? How many, if any, synonyms and associations these three letters, if in German and Hebrew languages: “Bär”, “דוב”. Or seven letters, if in Russian language: “медведь” [medved’]. Or four letters, if in English language: “bear”. OK... These pixels of modern world’s Etymology – what do they mean for me??? I was contemplating and speculating on this issue.
And it transpired that this word does evoke quite many associations!
The mascot of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. Bern – the capital of Switzerland, also the Bear. Symbolic for many cities around the Globe, for Berlin, for instance. And also on the flag of the State of California. Panda epitomizes many events in South East Asia and, in my opinion, is being absolutely irretrievable from the spirit of the Orient. As well as from the folklore culture of the Occident. Plenty of Russian fairy tales are being connected with this ursine character! How many idioms in so many languages are being connected with the bearish theme! And last, but not the least, they said, that in Mother Russia the bears pawed the streets in some cities, including the space of The Red Square. Till today I wonder, where they always hid themselves, as I was not able to glimpse them even once... But, personally for me the most significant Etymology of the ursine letters was quite different. At school I devoted quite a lot of my time to the freestyle wrestling. And Alexander Medved is the three times Olympic champion in this sport. This outstanding athlete’s achievements and performances on the international wrestling carpet, undoubtedly, were the guiding specimen of sportsmanship and human achieving. I felt and sensed so too.
But what kind of a bear I would encounter at the Theatre A Parte at Annenstrasse 20 A (in Witten 58453)? That was the intriguing part of that Theatre going evening. What kind of creature would be promulgating performance at the International Theatre Festival “Klein Aber Fein”? I was very eager to realize this!
...Dear and Highly Esteemed Readers! Have you ever entered the cage with the bear in your life? Most likely you would reply in the negative. But I did so this evening! I was in the confines of this kennel. But what a Bear it was! Friendly! Courteous! Amicable! The one I would love to share the bear hug with!
This ursine creature even treated me with the bottle of the most delectable lemonade! And the bars of this cage were made of some hawser ropes. I would say it was the most inmates’ friendly incarceration in the world. Free to enter! Free to leave! Free to go to freedom any time!
And here I would refer to the feeling and thought, that being in this cage with this most charming Bear (actress Lena Binski) was very freeing and liberating experience for me. For the duration of this interactive performance I was able to free myself from the shackles and apprehensive fears of uncertainty, of unpredictability, of the unknown. In a nutshell and very simple vocabulary: with this Dear Bear everything was good, certain, pleasant and, most importantly, halcyon! How unconcerned and placid were these moments, albeit they were very fleeting too! Dear Lena Binski, I would love to prolong these minutes, seconds and instances of theatrical interaction! I am sure everyone from the odeum would hundred percent agree with me.
Sounds unusual, doesn’t it?.. “Behind the bars” more latitude of liberty, than outside of them... But the participating installation “Warum nicht der Bär” performed by Lena Binski made such transfiguration the reality!
This staging was also a kind of meditation for me. (And honestly speaking, this is why I had some thoughts about Buddhism, and Lena Binski's Bear for some minutes transformed itself into Himalayan bear and then into Panda).
With the tranquilizing sounds of nature: chirping oscine chords, croaking of the frogs, oceanic breezes and billowing waves of the nightly forest silence. The Bear did know how to use the tape recorder! And soothing atmosphere of the natural reserve sanctuary was created on stage. Yes, within the quadratic space of the cage, delineated by its boarders.
And, apparently, this Bear did like Beethoven's music too. No... it wasn't the tape recorder, but a radio set from the 1970s, or 1960s. When one could simply sip cocoa, or coffee at breakfast without bothering to check the messages on the smartphone. Those were the times...
The performance “Warum nicht der Bär?” by and with Lena Binski is a very intelligent and invigorating experience for the viewers of all ages. Also an excellent opportunity for the family viewing. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Lena Binski and to the Theatre A Parte in Witten for this opportunity to be a spectator and verbatim the stage performer. I hope, I was an appropriate acting participant of this theatrical installation.
Thinking somewhat humorously about grim realities of the last several years I would like to exclaim with a sigh of relief: O! Panda Mia! O! My Bear! How “Pandamic”, so extensively Thespian were Your improvisations.
I am giving to You the wholehearted, most sincere Bear Hug – die Bärenumarmung!
Truly theatrically Yours,