Plastic is the New Poo: Berlin Theatre gets its Hands Dirty

When things start going down the toilet, a family hires a Jessica to clean up.

Actors: Robert Beyer, Jenny König, Sebastian Schwarz, Marie Burchard; Photo: Arno Declair

Stück Plastik (A Piece of Plastic) is the Schaubühne state theatre’s latest excuse to break the fourth wall with food.

Nothing goes unmocked in this play. If you’re a character who’s lost all creativity and sensibility, you get spaghetti thrown at you. If you’re a character who thinks you haven’t lost it, you get spaghetti thrown at you. If you’re not a character and have paid 30 euros to sit in the first row, you get spaghetti thrown at you.

I think I’d go to see this play for the spaghetti-slinging alone, but that’s not why I came home raving about it.

Actors: Jenny König, Sebastian Schwarz, Robert Beyer, Marie Burchard; Photo: Arno Declair

Everyone knows that families produce a lot of mess. But mix in a Bambi-eyed Jessica as their cleaning lady, and soon she accidentally becomes their personal, politely smiling Sigmund Freud without even realising it. At first they treat her like an idiot. But even before they find salvation in her light-hearted encouragement and nail-painting skills, it becomes pretty clear that they are the simple ones – a doctor too awkward to talk about sweat, or a rich woman who is insultingly “sensitive” about the fact that Jessica earns less than her.

Apart from the spaghetti and the psycho-social games, Stück Plastik has even more to offer. To keep it short and sweet, here’s a little list:

  • A kitchen-come-platform that “levitates” and sways to music
  • A teeny bit of very funny audience participation
  • Music videos of teenage (or middle-aged) dreams
  • Superb dressing and cross-dressing
  • iPhone cameras
  • Karaoke and surprisingly cool dance routines
  • Private parts (in an ice box and under a kilt)
  • Lots of cleaning
  • Zero bullshit.

Bon appetit.

Stück Plastik Laurenz Laufenberg Photo: Arno Declair

Actor: Laurenz Laufenberg; Photo: Arno Declair

Stück Plastik
by Marius von Mayenburg

28 March (German) & 29 March (with English surtitles) 2016
7:30 pm – 9:45 pm

(If you’re reading this too late, don’t worry – it’s never too late. This play is part of Schaubühne’s rotating repertoire, so it’s guaranteed to roll around again. Just check the programme.)

Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz
Kurfürstendamm 153, Wilmersdorf


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