Das Fest (The Celebration)

It is a very distinctive, crazy imagery that Christopher Rüping has created here, far removed from the severe and sterile style of the original film: A stage fantasy that is sometimes hard to bear in its gaudiness, and then again produces clear, evocative, cuttingly emphatic moments. A company of terrific young actors carries this show. Much of what they do was obviously developed in improvisation, is unfinished – an impressive, ambitious “cooperative work”, that much is clear. It is uncanny how something can shift from pure high spirits to the quietest of gravity (and back again): The abuse, the story’s issue, cannot be grasped, cannot be expressed, and remains forever hurtful. And so no one looks for explanations that would only turn out to be lies and excuses. No answers, just delicate images, moments of terror, suspicions, palpitations, provoking mood-swings, careless nonchalance. Everyone plays every role, falling out of character in an instant, embodying both victim and culprit. And yet everyone stands alone, lost in the colourful rain of confetti that never quite comes on cue. A disturbing, perfidious game of juggling prejudices and condemnations, guilt and betrayal.