Latent Dreams at English Theatre Berlin

IndieBerlin reviews a play from Katrine Turner titledĀ Latent Dreams. So how would world without capitalism look like?

The English Theatre Berlin is one of the city’s most untapped resources for theatre and performance art. They often produce hard-hitting pieces or select highly entertaining shows. And what’s especially brilliant about them is they offer newcomers a chance to showcase their work, offering up an international audience in an intimate black box studio setting.

Not a question you can easily answer

Latent Dreams as written and performed by Katrine Turner, offered up the very first performance of her play outside the festival scene. The play opened with a discussion about capitalism and what it would mean for us to exist without it. It’s not a question you can easily answer and the play doesn’t try to.

Instead, it offers up personal thoughts presented in video format, interviewing a variety of people of all age, race, and nationality. The interviewees were asked to describe what happens in a disaster film before probing them to describe what the world would look like without capitalism. This kind of talk is typically reserved until 2 am when the wine has kicked in and you’ve already discussed religion, sex and money. It provided an honest and insightful take on what the individual feels.

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Real-time typing instead of a dialogue

The play then sees Katrine take the stage and sit down at a desk equipped with a projector and an Apple Mac computer. I severely hope the use of an Apple product was intentional as the logo alone is arguably synonymous with the very idea of capitalism. Laptop brand aside, the young woman begins to type a synopsis review of various disaster films, along the way toying with the ridiculous Hollywood ironies and plot holes.

Where dialogue would traditionally be used we instead have to read from a projection of a computer scene. An altogether different approach that is arguably much difficult for the performer, learning lines is one thing, but to type live is a whole other level.

I won’t spoil the ending for you in case you happen to catch the piece. However, each audience member left with a printout of the typed words to take home, pushing you again to continue thinking about the subjects raised.

Waiting for something to happen

I would have to say for a first time showcasing in a theatre session it was fine, there were elements I felt were lacking, however. For instance, I was waiting for something to happen, a catalyst or a spark, but it never came, the conclusion was reached at a steady level rather with dramatic waves and troughs. It would have been more realistic if Katrine had procrastinated a little, no one sits at a computer anymore and just types their work.

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I’ve checked Facebook at least three times writing this alone. Not only that, seeing her perhaps on social media would have fed into the idea that capitalism is ingrained and even trying to discuss a world without it cannot happen without the use of capitalist tools. Just a thought?

I have no doubt Ms. Turner will go on to develop Latent Dreams and really push the envelope with it. For now, it does very much feel like a student final project, but we did discuss it in the pub a few hours afterwards, which can only mean good things. She successfully created a dialogue and opened it up to all those who observed.

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