I Went to the House But Did Not Enter

This article is from 2008.

I Went to the House But Did Not Enter

A collage-based approach to theatre from maverick creator

Heiner Goebbels’ latest work may be in the Edinburgh International Festival’s drama programme, but the scope of this maverick composer and theatre maker is far more expansive. In 2001, Hashirigaki melded Gertrude Stein with The Beach Boys while three years later Eraritjaritjaka took audiences on a drive-by live film feed inspired by Elias Canetti.

Now, this ‘staged concert in three parts,’ produced by Theatre Vidy-Lausanne and featuring The Hilliard Ensemble, looks to TS Eliot’s ‘The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock’, Maurice Blanchot’s The Madness of the Day and Samuel Beckett’s ‘Worstward Ho’. Goebbels’ collage-based approach dates back to early theatre-works based on texts by his mentor, Heiner Müller, the East German playwright best known for his epic Hamletmachine. Prior to this, Goebbels played works by Bertolt Brecht collaborator Hanns Eisler, and formed avant-rock band Cassiber with saxophonist Alfred Harth, ex-Henry Cow drummer Chris Cutler and Christoph Anders.

A couple of decades on, and the London and Amsterdam performances of Goebbels’ 2007 piece, Stifter’s Dinge (‘music without musicians’) featuring recorded texts by William Burroughs, Claude Lévi-Strauss and Austrian poet Adalbert Stifter, are a tantalising teaser for an audacious weaving of 20th century material to make something utterly of the now.

Royal Lyceum, Grindlay Street, 0131 473 2000, 28-30 Aug, 8pm, £10-£25.

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