Tuesday, 9 November 2010
Peter Handke's Publikumsbeschimpfung (1966) works like a machine. When during one of the first few performances, some audience members climbed the stage and were chased down by the still young but already autocratic director Claus Peymann, it did not jar with, but, on the contrary, made perfect and necessary sense within the relentless play-ness of the play. The audiences are heard, but the performers must keep going (almost, but not exactly) like a machine as the piece precisely does not aim for equality or negotiation, but for a clash between audiences and performers. The idea is not to transcend the political structure of a performer/audience divide; it is to sediment it.