Dead Dog at Dry Cleaners: The Strong
by Angélica Liddell
Direction: Angélica Liddell
German translation by Klaus Laabs
German language premiere
Europe in a dystopian future: the government has declared a period of »security«. All immigrants have been deported, all crime has been eliminated. But in one dry cleaner’s five marginalised souls meet whose stories literally bring to the light of day the »dirty linen« of humiliation, exclusion and guilt that society has repressed.
Dry-cleaner Octavio fornicates with his customers’ washing and clings onto, in both senses of the word, his sister, the prostitute Getsemaní. Taking refuge with them is museum guard Lazar who has quit his job because being responsible for the security of works of art causes him to have panic attacks. Lazar lusts after the teacher Hadewijch who lost her last job because she had sex with a 12-year-old boy. She comes into the dry cleaners searching for her lost dog Rameau – not realising he has been slain by Octavio in a fit of paranoia. The dead dog is nevertheless given striking voice in a colourful stream of abuse – he is played by an actor whose performance fee is cheaper than that of a real dog. Via the mysterious Combeferre, puppet-master of this painful experimental set-up, Liddell interweaves the plot with the writings of Rousseau and Diderot and, in doing so, creates the nightmare scenario of a degenerate society which, through the promise of absolute security, has lost its freedom: the borders are closed but the people still live in a constant state of fear and paranoia.
The Spanish writer, director and performer Angélica Liddell is one of the most prominent figures in the international theatre scene. With her texts she eloquently rails against violence, chauvanism and vulgarity and, in doing so, always discovers the most yawning abysses and largest contradictions to be in herself. »Dead Dog at Dry Cleaners: The Strong« is the first text she is staging with a German ensemble.