Ute Bocks Lichtermeer am Heldinnenplatz in Wien am 2.2.2018.

In den letzten Jahren war ich damit beschäftigt in Wien anzukommen und Vater zu werden/sein. In diesem Jahr ist es höchste Zeit den Blick nach außen zu werfen und einen kleinen Beitrag für andere zu leisten.

Die Lecture Performance Feldforschung. Eine magere Ausbeute hat mich aufmerksam gemacht auf die horrenden Bedingungen unter denen ausländische SaisonarbeiterInnen in Österreich arbeiten müssen.
Unmenschliche Arbeitszeiten, unwürdige Entlohnung, unvorstellbare Behausungen. Ihre Unkenntnis des österreichischen Systems wird ebenso ausgenützt wie ihre Unkenntnis der deutschen Sprache.
Die Täter sind immer Opfer der eigenen Gier, aber manchmal auch Opfer anderer Umstände. So eindeutig ist es leider oft nicht.
Doch klar ist, dass die Behandlung ungerecht ist und die Betroffenen keine Stimme haben. Daher will ich ihnen auch meine Stimme leihen.

Als ehemaliger Ausländer weiß ich, was es heißt fremd zu sein und dem (guten) Willen anderer ausgeliefert zu sein, in einem System, das man nicht kennt. Ich hab Großzügigkeit und Gier erlebt.

Als Ex-Theologe bin ich überzeugt, dass der Wert einer Gesellschaft darin liegt, wie sehr sie sich um die kümmert, die durchs Netz fallen. Weiters glaube ich, dass man gegen Unrecht aufstehen kann ohne die Täter zu dämonisieren oder ihnen ihre Menschlichkeit abzusprechen.

Als Vater will ich meinem Sohn eine gute, oder zumindest bessere Welt hinterlassen. In der Hoffnung, dass mein Beitrag kein Tropfen auf den heißen Stein ist.

Daher unterstütze ich 2018 die Aktion sezonieri.

Day five.

We talk about sets. Wild and crazy or reduced and simple. The heart says wild and crazy.
The lack of funding says reduced and simple.

But the heart wants what the heart wants. Let’s see what we can do.

We’ve been visited by Sigmund Freud today. Will he make it into the show? We shall see.

It’s the end of the material schlacht as we know it. And the beginning of composition.

We have three months. Don’t panic.

Day Four.

We do more voice work. We improvise more. I’m not on fire today. Now that’s not fun.
But very important.
Is there a way to create fire?

There is a way to keep moving forward. We went shopping. I hear so many ladies say, fur coats make them happy. So I had to try. I’m not a lady, but maybe my inner lady would appreciate it? She didn’t. We didn’t buy it. Fur is always second hand.

Day Three.

We do more voice work and we improvise. A lot. I am on fire.

I love improvising when it’s flowing. And flowing it is.

We work on finding our character for Das Fest and explore many things that don’t come naturally to me: Weight.
Sometimes I feel like I’m flying across the stage during my shows. Not this time. Expanding my repertoire.

Day Two.

Margot, my director, is doing a lot of voice work with me. I did a three year  movement training and I am surprised that movement and voice work require completely different things from the body.

Time to learn something new.

In the evening I am booked to do a very intimate show for 35 people. I perform a show I have done for many years.  I am so familiar with the elements, it’s like breathing.

Very different experience to my work during the day. Although there was a lot of breathing too.

Day One.

Unpredictability. A theme of Das Fest.

A late start and an early end.

S. is not feeling well, I’m taking Little J to the Kindergarten.  The little man has his own head and is taking his time. Taking care of other people’s needs is not a strength of a two year old.

After stopping at every car on our way, I send him off to play – and I head to the Gallery in Vienna’s 5th district, where I play. Sensitive people get paid for playing (Alan Watts). I’m still working on that.
wellwellwell is a beautiful space…

We dig into 40 minutes of material I have polished over the past 2 years. We work and work and work until S. calls: Our boiler is in need of repair. Immediately.
2-year-olds are not developing well in unheated flats in cold Austrian Winters… So immediately it is. Health trumps work apparently.

The good news: The heat’s back on. The work is developing around our kitchen table.

Unpredictability. One of the themes for Das Fest.

Das Fest is generously supported by Austrian Cultural Forum London, Galerie Die Schöne Vienna, Galerie wellwellwell Vienna.

Das Fest. Rehearsal Diary

Two years ago I started working on this show. I didn’t know it then. Tomorrow we will go into the rehearsal room to test ideas, de- or re-construct them and maybe throw them out altogether.

We have a bag full of ideas. But we are ready to abandon them, should we find a completely new direction. Celebrations are unpredictable. So is Das Fest and its process.

A(nother) beginning.

But first things first. I’ll get Margot from the Airport. No show without a director.


Das Fest is generously supported by Austrian Cultural Forum London, Galerie Die Schöne Vienna, Galerie wellwellwell Vienna.

Day eight

Time to go home. Newcastle to Düsseldorf to Vienna. I had great tea in Newcastle, I bought Eddie Izzard’s autobiography Believe Me, I had shitty coffee at Düsseldorf airport and a long plane drive in Vienna.
It seems like they land in Hungary and the drive the rest of the way.

What a week. I never thought this show would travel so far. I’ve met lovely people, I had amazing audiences (and some pretty drunk ones too. No more late night shows, I’ve decided.).
I’ve met my first groupies (a wonderful couple).

People shared wonderful memories with me, and some pretty strange secrets.

Here’s a little video of 40 Winks, where I performed on day two. You can see the strange living room and the unusual Mr Carter:

So far so gut. It’s good to be home.

Day Seven

Due to a booking error, my last show got cancelled. I am ok with that. I did 8 shows in 5 days with a lot of travelling. I’d rather do 5 shows in 8 days with no travelling. Next time.

I’m exploring Newcastle. I visit Ernest, Baltic and Kiln and I manage to finish my book: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides.
I can recommend it all.

And sleep. I recommend sleep the most.