The Berlin Volksbühne makes a fool of itself with “hyena fisherman” – culture

The matriarchy had somehow been imagined as more pleasant, at least not as a dull hell in musical form. The Berliner Volksbühne makes a fool of itself with the show “Hyäne Fischer”, proof that free-ranging prepotence does not necessarily lead to good or even halfway bearable things theatre leads. The evening is dedicated to the attempt to put a feminist struggle icon called Hyäne Fischer on stage with the help of the songs of the pop singer Helene Fischer, as well as the insults against Nazis, men and Austrians, which somehow comes out the same. “Full suitcases and dooft tourists” who shovel the whole of Austria into themselves with their Wiener Schnitzel are among the routinely mocked hate figures: “You have to be breaded like this first.” Nothing against Austrian litanies of insults, but next to the genius of cursing the world and Austria, Saint Thomas Bernhard, his Volksbühne impersonators seem like dogged nerds with quite manageable talents.

The music curator Marlene Engel, who is helplessly dilettante as a director, the libretto supplier Lydia Haider and the musical director Eva Jantschitsch recycle with the artificial figure Hyäne Fischer a joke, which the Viennese fraternity Hysteria, a feminist satirical project, staged in 2019. At that time they put a funny music video online in which a hyena Fischer applied for the Eurovision Song Contest with a hit in the style of Helene Fischer: “In the rush of time you’re ready”. The film shows the artist in the Eva Braun look in the Berghof ambience, the men’s and women’s races in the summer freshness – greetings from Obersalzberg. Big fun! This time, too, a small music video with a Helene Fischer variation is circulating online in the run-up to the premiere: “Testicleless to power”, well. The most interesting thing about the clip is a dirty old white man, Martin Wuttke, as a drooling rapist.

It is difficult to get from number to number, in the background a volcano is blowing little clouds of steam

The performance in the Volksbühne is the play for the music video, unfortunately without Martin Wuttke, but with great bohei, choir and orchestra and five hyena Fischers: Kathrin Angerer, Rosa Lembeck, Silvia Rieger, Marie Rosa Tietjen and Katarina Maria Trenk. Marlene Engel, who is hopelessly overwhelmed as a beginner director, struggles from number to number in her attempt to recreate the musical format, in the background a volcano blows teasing little clouds of steam through the lip- or vulva-shaped summit opening to the stage sky. Kathrin Angerer strides elegantly across the stage or dangles above her as an angel of death with black wings and tells of the downfall of mankind. In the full pathos mode of the tragedian, Silvia Rieger declaims a monologue which, if we have understood correctly, is about ripping the dead out of the grave.

It’s kind of a thing anyway with the lyrics and what they could possibly mean. The lyricist Lydia Haider gets tangled up in her jingling of sentences and confuses every coincidence with proof of her genius. The fact that she attended the Jelinek elementary school of language deconstruction, without even touching on the sophistication of the original, gives the evening immortal poetry album lines like these: “Every word has become just a word and you are there, go there and be.” Even more embarrassing are the generously presented violent fantasies of “scalped identities” and the bragging of the late-pubescent self-celebration as a “Nazi butcher”: “We are the psycho killers, we are the fascist fuckers.” This will certainly terrify the New Right. Lydia Haider’s lyrical work does not lack human contempt, for example when she calls the victim of an accident a “porridge of shit”. At least the superfluous event is aptly characterized with this comparison.

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