Music theatre performance Stifters Dinge by Heiner Goebbels at Holland Festival 2008.
Music without musicians. Theatre without actors. The acting area free of people for the whole seventy minutes. A ‘no-man’ show. Machines and computers cause objects to move and instruments to make music. A piano – live, but without a pianist – plays the Adagio from Bach’s Italian Concerto for harpsichord. We hear texts by William S. Burroughs and Claude Lévi-Strauss, but above all by the Austrian Biedermeier poet Adalbert Stifter (1805-1868). Humanity is no more than an extra figure in his poetry; the life of things – a branch, a pine needle – takes centre stage. The German composer and director Heiner Goebbels (1952) gives Stifter’s things a life that is at once threatening and full of magic within a setting of stones, lakes, ribbons of mist and pianos.
The result: a peep-show for grown-ups.