Über Tiere

About Animals

(Über Tiere)


variable casting

"As soon as one lets go of oneself, as far as an other is concerned, who per se is the other, one is simply swallowed by the world... and is gone" is a quote from a woman who, in the first part of About Animals, being an incurable lover, tries to defend herself against the danger of disappearing. She tries to find a space for herself, while continuously being "beside herself", because language defies her, disintegrates, withdraws, offers many words, but not the appropriate ones to express the longing of the woman who is never visible, "because I am here and simultaneously gone. Why can't I find a better way of saying that?"

The second part of the play sheds a blinding light onto the possibility of remaining in the world, as it's based on actual wiretap transcripts of a Viennese "escort service". In these, you can hear male voices demanding "fresh goods" (mostly from Eastern Europe) and praise as well as price the qualities of certain girls, using abbreviations like "CIF" for "Come in Face", "CIM" for "Come in Mouth". The sexual submissive gestures that were only hinted at in the woman's monologue are now radically being pushed into plain sight and demand to be heard in Jelinek’s little bestiary in a literally monstrous way. One never wanted to get to know the other that well.

World premiere
04.05.2007 Burgtheater (Kasino) Wien
Director: Ruedi Häusermann

Bulgarian (Translator: Vladko Murdarov)
Czech: O zvíratech (Translator: Barbora Schnelle)
Greek (Translator: Alexis Alatsis)
Greek premiere 19.03.2012 Art Theatre (Theatro Technis) / Ipogio Theatre, Athens (Director: Alexis Alatsis)
Dutch: Over Dieren (Translator: Tom Kleijn)
Niederländische World premiere: 15.04.2010 Het Nationale Toneel, Den Haag ( Director: Susanne Kennedy)
French: Sur des Animaux (Translators: Patrick Démerin, Dieter Hornig)
Lithuanian: Bestiariumas (Translator: Dange Cebatariunaite)
Polish: O Zwierzetach (Translator: Karolina Bikont)
Polish premiere 19.01.2008, Teatr Polski, Bydgoszcz (Director: Lukasz Chotkowski)

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