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wald / maschinen / schlachthof-gebet

  • Richard Gonlag
  • November 30th 2018
  • TATWERK | Berlin

She and He, possibly a couple, posses, crave and destroy each other, recognize themselves in the other. A battle of the sexes. Love and hatred keeps them trapped, power and violence are their heritage and their present.

Stripped Works
Photography of two people with gray transparent plastic bags over their heads in black clothes in motion in front of a white wall. Blue spotlight reflects on the bags. © lowgravityph

Their language is a carnal anthem, a sensuous song of praise, a phantasma, an accusation, driven by lust and rejection. A dance, a litany, a prayer – a forest/machine/slaughterhouse-prayer.
The work of Iranian-born author Mehdi Moradpour focuses on interhuman communication in modern society.
In »forest/machine/slaughterhouse-prayer« he intensifies his view on the world to a carnal poetic text, filled with strong compact images. Love has been brought down to a profit based, calculated machine that has to be fed and never gets enough. Life has no real value anymore. People are numbers in calculated wars. Items in a global economy.
In this context the lyrical I tries to put his demands towards an imaginary opponent into words, expresses his/her desires in drastic verbal images, seeks closeness and boundaries, in order to be able to claim his/her own individuality.
A text like that required a special form to be moulded into.
Therefore the actors built an inner world out of very personal and direct feelings and images, with which they improvised their actions.
They’ve worked with Grotowski and Butoh to achieve this physical state.
The text is performed three times, in different shapes and colours, fenced in by three musical intersections.

These were the colours, materials and associations the actors and the composer worked with.

Forest, the hunt, youth – body/water/gender/game/air/spirit/dream/glass/sand
Machine, battle, warriors –
Slaughterhouse, mass, death – city/blood/sex/animalistic/fire/wood/leather/skin

black (forest), blue (machine), brown (slaughterhouse)

In German language


November 30th 2018 | 8:30
TATWERK | Berlin
within Stripped Works - Contemporary Performances Practices Festival 2018


Direction: Richard Gonlag, Olaf Jelinski

Text: Mehdi Moradpour
Performance: Maike Specht, Richard Gonlag
Music: Munsha, feat. Dennis Depta
Counseling Butoh: 4RUDE, Hikaru Inagawa


Richard Gonlag was born in Assen (Netherlands) in 1965. He studied acting at the Arnhem Theatre School. (graduated in 1991). Gonlag has been active in several theater collectives, including the theater group Wolfsmond (1990-1993) and the directing collective Het Oranjehotel (1994-1999). From 1998 - 2004 Richard Gonlag was artistic director of the Groningen Theatre School. Since 2005 Richard Gonlag lives in Berlin. He plays Germans in Dutch films, Dutch in German projects and British at the MET Film School in Berlin. In 2016 he founded the theater platform Protokoll B with 8 actors*in. The Analog-Internet-Monster project Digital Digestion was a big success at the 48h-Neukölln-Festival 2016. For the Performing Arts Festival 2017 they created the 3-day festival Richtung Dschörmannie, with among others Gonlag's play Public and his direction of wald/maschinen/schlachthof-gebet. In 2018 he played the role of Kaiser Wilhelm II at Das Letzte Kleinod in the performance WILHELM*INA and in 2019 Fontane in the performance Souvenir1870.