UNDER ICE (2009)
Photo: Thomas Petri
The consultant Paul Niemand is paged through the PA system at the airport–for the tenth time, now: The gate is closing, boarding completed! Paul hears his own name again and again. And he enjoys it! For once, Paul Niemand is not efficient. He is waiting. Until today, his life has been completely determined by the changing demands of the labour market. Like any other commodity, he is measured and weighed. He is a falling man. Suddenly all his unfulfilled yearnings and dreams set in at full force. Maybe you really can change your life–and become somebody else?
In UNDER ICE, the young German playwright Falk Richter addresses neo-liberalism: How do we perceive happiness? Living together? What kind of values do we take our bearing from in everyday life?
Point by point, we follow Paul Niemand's life in which the Company is everything and the personal identity of the employee is increasingly blurred by demands of efficiency and adaptability. The human qualities of the employee serve only as tools to improve efficiency and increase profit.
The play also lends a voice to two younger consultants, Aurelius and Sonnenschein, who have incorporated the neo-liberal agenda of the age unconditionally. Here, only the best survive the race of elimination: Grow or go!
UNDER ICE describes a management culture bordering on totalitarianism where standstill always equals decline and where there is no longer room for people who are not prepared to go all the way.
Text: Falk Richter
Translation: Karen-Maria Bille
Direction/Set design: Jacob F. Schokking
Music: F.M. Einheit
Steen Stig Lommer
Lights: Peter Plesner
Sound: Turpin Napoleon Djurhuus
Video design: Jakob Thorbek
Producer: Traudi Palsbøl
UNDER ICE is a co-production by Holland House and CaféTeatret
UNDER ICE is supported by The Danish Arts Foundation