Immensely complex, sharp and deeply humanistic, play by Wolfram Lotz operates as a critical commentary on our times. It’s a story of prejudice and xenophobia in which reality and imagination float together in a jumble of global misconceptions and collective delusions.
What I recognized in Lotz’s craftiness is a perfectly contemporary Rabelaisian approach to the characters. In situations given, it is densely inwrought with the best heritage of The theater of the absurd. The same level of outrageous, crude and stubbornly non-hypocritical language performed by costumes is what I tried to achieve.
By exposing the labels and stigmas imposed on some communities and inhabitants of certain areas of the world, costumes walk on a thin line. On one hand, the embarrassing stereotypes of Europocentric point of view. On the other, the very notion of political correctness. A question that may arise is what exactly is left untold or again – hidden – thanks to a very oppression of carefully chosen, diplomatic and inclusive, multiculturally sensitive language we are trying to use. Applied to those on its margins or outside its borders, well hidden by cautiously chosen words, the western view of surprise and disgust with habits of the strange, savage, outdated, under educated is still among us. The notion of otherness as a constitutive of the “European self” is heightened through a darkly ironic, almost disturbing play, a certain “offer” of what is allowed and what is almost banished from the world of what is perceived as cultured.
It is a silliness of the chosen obvious tropes that shows the ineffable senselessness and absurdity of the existing constellations of power. The final costume design can be described as a particular “costume macabre”. It is consisted of the freaky characters and their victims, with the world we’re living in, as, sadly, the truest source of references. -Maja Mirković
“Anja Susa, on Helsingborgs Stadsteater, treats Lotz’s text with a forceful, contemporary theatrical approach. Maja Mirkovic’s costumes with their beautifully precise description of the characters is an important addition to the overall impression of the play. (…)The dark irony covers everything as a thick blanket but the ensemble is on top of things and play with a great sense of humour.” – Aftonbladet, September 20, 2016
“Joseph Conrad’s classic novel “Heart of Darkness” and Francis Ford Coppola’s equally famous movie “Apocalypse Now” inspired the German playwright Wolfram Lotz to write his play “The Ridiculous Darkness”. The “Ridiculous Darkness” is a critical commentary on our times and a story of prejudice and xenophobia in which reality and imagination float together in a jumble of global misconceptions, and collective delusions. This performance doesn’t really see “The Other” from the perspective of a post-colonial discourse sugar coated in a superficial political correctness, but pinpoints the Western European disability to really see and understand anything or anybody stepping outside of the European political project in which “some animals are more equal than the others”. This is the first opening of this play in Scandinavia.” – Anja Suša