DIE MÖGLICHKEITEINER INSEL
A journey through time and space, performed, animated and edited live before the viewers’ very eyes.
Planet Earth, in the fifth millennium. The eternal struggle for sexual attractiveness has exhausted humanity to such an extent that it has practically gone extinct – only a handful of feral specimens of the species dwell in the post-apocalyptic ruins of civilization. The world is now dominated by genetically modified neo-humans, who live alone, nourish themselves through photosynthesis and are unfamiliar with both love and hate. The trauma of bodily aging is also foreign to their experience, as every neo-human is regularly re-cloned. Feelings have long since been optimised out of existence here too.
The touching story of two neo-humans, Daniel24 and Daniel25, and their genetic ancestor Daniel, who is a contemporary of ours here in the early 21st century: in his bestseller, published in 2005, Michel Houellebecq, the most famous French author of our time, takes a look through the millennia at the desires that reign in our present era and in a potential future – pursuing the notions that many people dream of today to their logical conclusions.
Is it possible to achieve happiness? If so, where does one find this happiness? And how?
With their production of DIE MÖGLICHKEIT EINER INSEL at Dortmund’s City Theatre, sputnic created the first live feature-length animated film in cinema and theatre history.
Brilliant, visionary, trailblazing!
On one hand, the piece recalls old-fashioned shadow theatre – while at the same time being of the highest virtuality and virtuosity. A film takes shape in the form of rudimentary moving images that remind one of children’s books – in what is an apocalyptic tale of meaningless capitalism. This is a masterpiece of multi-tasking: the actors speak, perform, move the animated figures, change the special effects records, control the screen and make all the noises.
Sometimes you sit in the theatre and can’t manage to close you mouth without your jaw immediately dropping again in amazement. It’s absolutely incredible what the visual arts collective sputnic has managed to put together here. Unbelievably good – and totally new when it comes to the manner of its creation.
A wonderful experience.
Zukunftsweisend, bewegend, beeindruckend, neu.
Virtuoso live cinema... And we are left amazed because the result is simply magical. Andreas Beck, Bettina Lieder, Frank Genser and Merle Wasmuth are the hands and brains of an illusion machine that transports us to a science-fiction scenario. ...What an aesthetic pleasure, the images that this quartet dressed in priestly vestments produces. The use of technology is intelligent and adept, the spoken performances are strong. Very highly recommended, bravo!
A unique night of theatre at Dortmund City Theatre. ... The piece is a brilliant blend of drama, performance and animated film production on the open stage. ... A magnificent and fascinating evening of theatre, film, philosophy and reflection on our world.
Erases the boundaries between theatre, film and performance. The Possibility of an Island possesses all the charm of a conjurer’s performance. This is no mere play on film, it’s a full-fledged blockbuster and a brilliant literary adaptation. The viewer gets to witness a fascinating hybrid mix of theatre, film and embedded “making-of” elements. (…) And what fantastic design! Abstracted shadow outlines, dream-like dismal landscape images, a world of the future whose minimalism would likely meet with approval from someone like Stanley Kubrick. ... The way the individual elements come together to form a whole and the manner in which a story takes shape from voices, images and hand movements. It’s impossible for anyone who considers cinema more than an opportunity to consume popcorn to experience this performance without their eyes lighting up.
When rather than reading Houellebecq’s hamfisted dystopia as an epic explanation of the world one watches it as a cartoon instead, the way is made clear to perceive a critique of a capitalism emptied of all meaning.
Concept, screenplay, direction Nils Voges
Stage design, costume design Malte Jehmlich
Performers Bettina Lieder, Merle Wasmuth, Frank Genser, Andreas Beck
Character design, illustration Julia Zejn
Background artist, illustration Julia Praschima Miniature set design Artur Gertz Additional Illustration Carolina Noß Set construction, animation plates Mia Katharina Reiss, Tilman Östereich, Corinna Pietsch, Carolina Noß, Clara Hedwig
Music, sound Nicolai Skopalik, Philip Maike
Programming, video technician, magic Lucas Pleß
Video Mario Simon
Dramaturgy Anne-Kathrin Schulz
Directorial assistant Tilman Östereich Scenery and costume assistant Clara Hedwig Prompting Suse Kipp Light Sibylle Stuck Sound Gertfried Lammersdorf
Photos Birgit Hupfeld Trailer Lukas Raber Making-of video Jan Voges