„Fatzer“ based on Bertolt Brecht – english
Chiten (Kyoto), Japanese premiere (2013)
In Japanese with German surtitles
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Fatzer belongs to a group of soldiers who have fled their unit. In their cellar hideout, the deserters are waiting for the revolution which they hope will bring an end to the war. During their long wait, however, their solidarity crumbles. The Brecht Festival is showing the Japanese premiere of Brecht’s fragmentary play for the first time. The original text consists of some 500 pages of verses and notes. Chiten use Heiner Müller’s version of “The Downfall of the Egoist Johann Fatzer” for their production, but add to it with additional passages of text. The apocalyptic soundtrack to the play is by the band Kukangendai. This results in a wild soundscape of electronic music, a hail of bullets and deathly screams which combine with the actors’ voices to create a heavily dynamic atmosphere. “I was looking for a text which wasn’t shackled to the strict flow of a story. The unfinished “Fatzer” was the right choice and it was also a happy coincidence, as I felt like directing a Brecht play. It is fascinating to trace the cruelty of human society, which is consistently about anarchism and the failure of community,” explains director Motoi Miura. “The humour and irony people feel when they read Brecht’s texts also goes down well in Japan. Humour and irony bring joy and laughter to an everyday life characterised by a declining sense of vitality within the closed limitations of society. From our perspective, setting out to explore the world Brecht that tried to see was an attempt to re-examine our social situation without a sense of pessimism.”
Motoi Miura (Director): „I wanted a text that wasn’t tied to the composition of the original story. It was the unfinished „Fatzer“ that matched the desire to do Brecht’s work and the desire to be free from the story. It’s fascinating to portray the cruelty of human society, constantly thinking about anarchism and the failure of unity.“ explains Director Motoi Miura. “The humor and irony that can be felt from Brecht’s work is also very exciting for Japanese people. It brings laughter to a shrinking life in a closed society. Experiencing the world that Brecht was trying to see is a re-examination of our social situation without pessimism. “
“Chiten” bedeutet Chiten, meaning “locus” or “point”, is a theatre company led by director Motoi Miura. It specializes in performances created out of collages using fragments of existing texts. It employs an original linguistic style, deliberately delaying the cadence and rhythm of language to expose the raw sound of the words liberated from their meanings. This technique has frequently been recognized for its musical qualities. Rather than maintaining a single systematic methodology, Chiten explores a wide variety of approaches for the texts it adapts. Its major work includes a series of stagings of Chekhov plays, Brecht’s Fatzer, and Jelinek’s Kein Licht.
Originally based in Tokyo, Chiten moved to Kyoto in 2005. In 2013 it renovated a derelict former music venue to open an atelier space: UNDER-THROW. At the space Chiten performs a repertoire of previous productions and new works. In 2011, it performed The Cherry Orchard and Uncle Vanya at the Meyerhold Centre in Moscow, at Shakespeare’s Globe theatre in London and at the IBS Congress in Leipzig.