SHARING SOLITARY LIVES — THE VACUUM CLEANER AT VIRTUAL THEATERTREFFEN

SHARING SOLITARY LIVES — THE VACUUM CLEANER AT VIRTUAL THEATERTREFFEN

Played by Julia Windischbauer, Deme is the main character in the The Vacuum Cleaner, the latest play by Japanese author and director Toshiki Okada, streaming online from Friday (08.05.2020) as part of this year’s Virtual Theatertreffen. Beyond going onto her balcony to tend to the laundry, Deme never leaves her house, much like her housemate Homare, who at 40 still lives with her father and never works or goes out. Homare is a hermit, what is known in Japan as Hikikomori. And Deme is her vacuum cleaner. More than a mere appliance, Deme drowns out anger and screams, acting as a therapist and ally. Tripping and dancing across the stage in one of Tutia Schaad’s enchanting costumes, Windischbauer credibly inhabits and breathes life into her appliance character, keeping the household together and connecting residents who have nothing more to say to each other. This play views withdrawal as a reaction to the pressure to perform, and in doing so critiques capitalism. The loneliness that this withdrawal brings lies – despite Windischbauer’s wonderful slapstick – like a thick layer of dust on the stage. (Text: Laura Storfner / Photos: Julian Baumann)

The Vacuum Cleaner by Toshiki Okada, translated from Japanese by Andreas Regelsberger, premiered at the Münchner Kammerspiele and screened as part of Virtual Theatertreffen.
The stream is available online from 08.05.2020, 20h to 09.05.2020, 19h59 free of charge, donations welcome.
Interview with the director and the cast: 08.05.2020, 21h55
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