Premiered Old Queen's Theatre, March 2004
Thanks to the generous support of the Goethe Institue and Te Puna Toi Performance Research Centre
See also: ELLA AND SUSN
Despite being one of the most prolific artists of the past 40 years, Bavarian novelist, playwright, filmmaker, actor and painter Herbert Achternbusch remains largely unknown. His obscurity is primarily due to his unwillingness to join any organised group - literary, filmic, political or otherwise. His art can be seen as a radical attempt to fight, with aesthetic means, against any external influence.
In this three 'duologues', Achternbusch gives voice to society's untouchables. In Ella a man, dressed in his mother's clothes (a la Hitchcock's Psycho), tells the story of his other , beaten by her father until she goes crazy. In Susn a young woman confesses to a priest how her first sexual experiences have caused her to want to leave the church. And in My Epitaph, an old Egyptian scribe and magician, Amenhotep, dictates the story of his life to Seth, his pupil. Sequences from two films by Werner Herzog, who was an Achternbusch collaborator, are used in Ella. In Susn and My Epitaph, images of Achternbusch's paintings provide he backdrop.
Achternbusch's Feast of Delights
The Press, 10 May 2004, Reviewed by Alan Scott
Gritty, Provocative Offering
Christchurch Star, 12 May 2004, Reviewed by Christina Stachurski
Three Plays by Herbert Achternbusch
CANTA, 19 May 2004, Reviewed by Erin Harrington