Man in the Elevator
escape attempt from the GDR according to Heiner Müller
Premiere: April 17, 2018 at Theaterhaus Mitte Berlin
“Where am I. Black is all I see.
Did I say see. And how do you know, old man
Whether you still have eyes for black or white.
Is it night or am I already below
No more difference between day and night
And between me and I no difference.” (H. Müller, Tractor)
In the same year that Heiner Müller writes the text block “Der Mann im Fahrstuhl” (“Man in the Elevator”) and transplants it into the revolutionary play “Der Auftrag” (“The Mission”), two families from Thuringia take off at night in a homemade hot air balloon on an uncertain journey. The famous escape attempt from the GDR in 1979 was a flight into the unknown, through the lightless homeland in an elevator gone mad, which – so the hope – would overcome the iron curtain and reach the far far West. The emigrants land happily in the anyway land, Müller’s elevator driver is spat out in a third world country. Their journeys stand like will-o’-the-wisps in time.
PKRK stages Müller’s prose block with five voices, concentrated on 80×80 centimeters. An attempt to escape from the space without direction.