From a red rose to many potted plants: when does “thank you” become “no, thank you”? 5 young people ask themselves and us as part of the open eyes! the festival 2022 in Winterthur what love is. We learn that being in love is just hormones or a dance without form. The piece Oh
Romeo!? from the Young Theater Marie asks whether she loves me or you and whether a dropped phone call or sex is a misunderstanding in the dark.
love of all kinds
Standard words on the topic of love flicker across a screen above the stage: infatuation, flirting, divorce, love songs, heartbreak. They change quickly and each provide the introduction to the next scene. We are on the foyer stage of the Theater Winterthur, where the Theater Junge Marie is performing its play Oh,
Romeo!? shows, with Romeo being crossed out: the well-known story of Shakespeare is mentioned in passing and played through in fast-forward fashion. Because the young people on stage not only live heterosexual, monogamous relationships, but also those with their brother, with the people in the front row of the audience, with the guinea pig, with parents and friends. So then a:e player:in agrees to a song about friendship after a few “love songs” sung wrong. It’s about riding a bike without a destination, being together without expectation, sharing in silence, and more and more a sketched picture of what love can be, could be, will be: complex, diverse, flat.
marriage and same-sex marriage
Five people get married in a white cloth and the national vote on gay marriage is remembered, which still did not bring equal rights at the legal level for non-heterosexual couples. Everyone sings “so naturaaaal” slightly off-key; the form shows the dubiousness of the boundary between naturalness and artificiality. Then again, there is only one person on stage dancing like crazy, turning on the smoke machine several times and asking the lighting engineer for colored light. Sometimes the audience is addressed directly, we are promised love, we are flirted with or many questions are asked: When will I know? How do I know? Or do you just need new words? A musician with various electronic instruments accompanies and interacts with the players on stage; there is beatboxing, singing, humming or cheering along. Crises are embodied and consensus is negotiated; Pictures of illusions are not romantic here, but the confrontation with oneself or the others or directly in the scenic framework. Technical processes are exhibited as is usual in post-dramatic theater and the players establish direct contact with the audience if possible.
The young people in the audience seem focused and feel spoken to, giggle in the dark when two voices talk about their relationship just before sex, or whisper nervously when a:e player:in flirts directly with individuals to make love at first sight to try. The evening with the “Junge Marie” players is entertaining, up-to-date and has a message: we need new words to describe everything that love is, because love is plural. “So natural” here is at most the desire to try things out together.