A post-apocalyptic walk
by Thomas Köck & Tomas Schweigen
Directed by Tomas Schweigen

Premiere April 1, 2016 / 18:30 and 21:00
Last performance  April 13, 2016
Meeting point Schauspielhaus

The world career of the Viennese underworld started already at the end of the 19th century. The almost mythically charged ingenious sewage system became very quickly a refuge for those who could not keep up with the speed of the industrial society. The outsiders withdrew to the underground and dug in the waste and sewage: The „strotter“ was born!
In a time of crisis everything had to be of use, soap was made from residues of fat in the sewage and from time to time valuables, coins or jewelry were found in the underground stream of water and were turned into money. The „strotter“ collected everything he could get hold of and tried to turn it into something useful in order not to lose touch with society completely - a society that was not interested in destroying its well-ordered class structure through social advancement.
More than a century later the old Viennese word „strotter“ is hardly known anymore and yet the modern humiliated and insulted who live on the edge of society still exist. The climate is widely characterized by the fear of social decline. In the current refuge crisis the question in how far a community is in the long run ready to accomodate people in need is raised.
Although a great number of people try with great dedication to make the situation of the refuges better, the refuge crisis will probably remain the biggest social challenge in years for quite a while.
The upcoming task to integrate asylum seekers as citizens who will stay in the country and not to see them as competitors for jobs and housing might contain social dynamite.
At the same time climate change and natural catastrophes question more and more our way of living. More than 40 years after the Club of Rome has painted its alarming picture of the future, an effectice reduction of CO2 emission is still a long way off because Western societies still rely mainly on the concept of economical growth. Will the underground life become a concept of the future and the modern „strotter“ a human of the 21st century?
Thomas Köck, born in Steyr in 1986, studied philosophy and literature in Vienna and Berlin as well as dramatic writing at the Berlin University of the Arts. He is regarded as one oft he most promising young Austrian writers and was invited to Stückemarkt 2015 in Heidelberg with his latest play „paradies fluten (verirrte sinfonie)“ that explores the effects of global warming. For his first play „jenseits von fukuyama“ that declares the end of history in a very witty language, he received the first drama award of Osnabrück in 2013. A refuge and a traumatised Afghan soldier meet in his second play „Isabelle H.“ The play was honoured with the Else-Lasker-Schüler-Award and premiered at Pfalztheater Kaiserslautern. It was also staged at Volkstheater Vienna in spring 2016. In the current season Thomas Köck is writer in residence at Nationaltheater Mannheim.
For the play developement „Strotter“ he is collaborating with Schauspielhaus Vienna for the first time. Together with Tomas Schweigen he is developing an evening that will cast a glance into a possible future of Vienna  with an inscrutable, weird science-fiction vision and will offer completely new perspectives to the audience.
The ensemble will leave its traditional stage in Porzellangasse and will play in the public space; the usual relation between stage and auditorium is broken up and together with its alleged certainties: What is real? What is play? Who are the actors and who are the passersby? What is staged, what is coincidence?
Due to the limited amount of seats, reserved tickets need to be picked up at the box office at least one day before the performance or need to be paid by credit card via phone!
We recommend to dress according to weather conditions. We would also like to point out explicitely that the participation is at one’s own risk. Schauspielhaus assumes no liability.


„Die Kommentare der künstlichen Intelligenz erzeugen in ihrer distanzierten Nüchternheit zeitgleich Lachen wie Schaudern – Ausgehen, Wohnen, Studieren, das sind für das unbeteiligte Auge des Computers nichts anderes als Strategien des sozialen Aufstiegs und gesellschaftlichen Funktionierens. (…) Erfrischend unkonventionelle Inszenierung, die einen außerirdischen Blick auf die reale Welt wirft und damit die Wirklichkeit selbst zur Inszenierung macht, sie vielleicht gar nur als solche enttarnt, mit den Mitteln des Theaters zur Kenntlichkeit entstellt.“ Nachtkritik

„ (...) Viele Fragen tut der Abend zudem ob der zuweilen abgedrehten, stark körperlichen Inszenierung auf, in der das Publikum als Mitmacher steckt. Etwa jene, welche Rolle man lieber einnehmen sollte: Die des brav rezipierenden und der Computerstimme folgenden Publikums oder doch die – gelobte – des Anweisungsverweigerers. Untergangskinder möchte man das Wind und Wetter trotzende Ensemble aus Jesse Inman, Steffen Link, Vassilissa Reznikoff und Sebastian Schindegger nennen. Es entwirft düstere, aber gar nicht so abwegige Aussichten. Derer mag es zwar schon einige geben, aber noch keine war so nah an Wien dran.“ Der Standard

„Im charmanten Stationentheater „Strotter“ von Thomas Köck und Tomas Schweigen ist Wien kein sicherer Hafen mehr, sondern eine dystopische Landschaft.“ Falter

„Vier Schauspielhaus-Akteure stellen die letzten Überlebenden dar, Desperados, die ratlos und rastlos durch die Gassen des Alsergrunds tigern.“ Wiener Zeitung

„Die Führung der Zuschauer durch die verschiedenen Sphären übernimmt ein Handy mit Kopfhörern und Computerstimme, das einen unheimlichen Klangraum erzeugt (gesprochen von Sophia Löffler)“  Die Presse