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Eva Braun and Adolf Hitler take a bloodbath

Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun are sitting in the Deutsches Schauspielhaus.

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Eva Braun and Adolf Hitler take a bloodbath

Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun are sitting in the Deutsches Schauspielhaus. The American painter, sculptor and performance artist Paul McCarthy (77) appears here as Hitler, who wears no shirt under his military jacket and wears short leather pants with hiking boots and wide sunglasses under his military cap. Eva Braun's real name is Lilith Stangenberg (34) and she is a German actress who works with McCarthy. Even the outfit makes it clear that a satirical treatment of the historical figures is cultivated here, that they become clowns. With four performance installations under the broad title “A

It will probably be bloody and ugly, but even that is not certain. Because the two artists improvise night after night through a script that, according to McCarthy, only serves as a skeleton for the show. So it can happen that one evening lasts only one hour, but another lasts five hours. In any case, the Deutsches Schauspielhaus has set up three pretty fir trees in the stalls for the adventure, which tower up to the second tier, expanded a few rows of seats so that it doesn't get too crowded and allows the audience to move freely around the house during the performance to change perspective. McCarthy doesn't know how to find that yet.

A three-room apartment with a bathroom has been built on the stage in film studio format with partially missing outer walls, i.e. next to the bathroom with toilet there is a kitchen (in oak), a dining room and a bedroom. This is where Adolf and Eva meet, who, by the way, both speak English and thus appear slightly alienated. But otherwise, the two actors fluctuate through their roles, despite their costumes, which they may keep on. The two have also occasionally played naked. But more because of other potentially disturbing or even shocking content, according to the theater: "The performances are not suitable for minors and are not accessible to visitors under the age of 18."

In front of the film hut there are two rails on the stage on which a camera crane moves back and forth. The camera uses a swivel arm to provide insights into the building that are not possible from the hall. Handheld cameras may also be used. And above the stage, from left to right, is a cinema screen that occupies about 40 percent of the fourth wall toward the audience. In the tradition of Antonin Artaud's "Theater of Cruelty", McCarthy and Stangenberg act behind it.

Since 2017, McCarthy has been working on the NV / Night Vater project, inspired by the 1974 film The Night Porter by Italian director Liliana Cavani. The film explores the sadomasochistic relationship between former SS officer Max and one of his victims, Lucia , who survived a concentration camp as a young woman. McCarthy's project draws on themes from the film, such as the intersection of sex and power, the return of the repressed, the father complex in politics, and the enduring appeal of fascism as an ideology and aesthetic. The adaptation sees itself as a new staging of political landscapes. Max has meanwhile become Adolf, and film Lucia has become Eva Braun.

Due to the constantly tipping dependencies of the characters in their changing constellations, the two actors explore extremes. Stangenberg sees this as theater in an originally antique, cathartic sense, describing the installation as “exorcism”, which is about driving out fascism. Because clichés like the toy figures Hitler and Braun have to be "used up, worn out, otherwise they'll come back at some point." She also found that there is a little Eva Braun or a little Adolf Hitler in every human being, of which one must be aware, to prevent a renewed seizure of power. In the best case, “Discover the Hitler in you” is followed by “Stop the Hitler in you”.

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