“Men in white” of Theater Horizont from Cologne

...Theatre is like a magnet, it's like a Gourmet food, or like a narcotic (of course, figuratively speaking). In the sense, that a true theatregoer develops some kind of profound dependency on Melpomene. On the adrenaline of the stage and of the odeum. On the whole Thespian medium. I’ve got addicted to it. And this supposition of mine got the practical confirmation. I have some letters to write and to prepare some documents, I have to do many other things... but instead I start typing and recording my spectators echo about the play “Das Herz eines Boxers” – “The heart of the Boxer” performed by the Theater Horizont from Cologne. This theatrical soiree was realized under the auspices of the Second International Theatre Festival “Klein aber fein” at the Theatre A Parte in Witten. (Address: Annenstrasse 20A, 58453 Witten).

And writing these lines I find my placating equilibrium, abstracting from the mundane hustle and bustle. Theatre – this is what really matters! Theatre – this is The Nirvana and the light in the end of the tunnel. Although the main theme of this dramatization might be described as melancholy and depression.

I watched the staging of “Das Herz eines Boxers” on July 10th, 2022. It was Sunday.

...I would like to say, that the brief questions and answers session, mini “press conference”, which took place after the play, did help me quite a lot to propitiate my sombre agitated moods. As I, probably, felt like after having watched Alfred Hitchcock's movie. With the only difference, that “Das Herz eines Boxers” is not a thriller, but a very truthfully narrated sad story. Of the former boxing champion, who appeared in much unexpected, very long lasting life circumstances. The dolors and grieves of every day being, of uncertainty of tomorrow are being very pronouncedly parleyed in the thorough acting manner by Waldemar Hooge, who portrayed the Boxer. Marc Alexander, acting out as the Youth, was also instrumental in unrolling the subject line of this performance and aggravating the tensions of the drama.

Yes, for me “Das Herz des Boxers” was the staging, first of all, with the dramatic, tragic context. The suspension of the dawning doom was very clearly sensed in this work of the drama art. Although, I must admit, that its dramatization at times sensed even as the comedy, they were there several humorous episodes...

But for me the most memorable scene of the “Das Herz des Boxers” was the one, when the Boxer and the Youth as if time transported themselves into the times of glory of the Red Leo.

When Leo (Waldemar Hooge) really was “fluttering like a butterfly”... luckily, for the Youngster – The Youth (Mark Alexander) and for the spectators in the odeum he didn't “sting like a bee” on stage. And I would allow myself to smile at that...

In our lives, sometimes (or even often) we feel like being boxed down into the corner, or even knocked out. But seeing the implied – assumed liberation of the Boxer from the societal and self-inflicted dogmatic confines in “Das Herz eines Boxers” would lead many of the viewers into the reviving and asserting the sense of new beginning that after morose rain and dark clouds, there would come the brighter sunnier hours. This play is a psychological drama, but verbatim a lyrical touching story too. With a glimpse of hope. With the beams of Sol at the Horizon.

The chamber theatre format of this staging also helped the spectators, including my own self, to feel even more close to the life peripeteia of the two characters, of Leo and of the Youth (I deliberately, omit the nickname “Yoyo”) and empathize with their aspirations, trials and tribulations of their life paths.

At the concluding press conference / questions and answers session the actors put on the white shirts. And it felt like the thrilling suspense doom of the play was bleached out and diluted. The fiction of play script was smoothed out by the reality of the play’s storytelling.

I would like to express my gratitude to the Horizont Theater from Cologne, to the actors Waldemar Hooge, Mark Alexander and to the stage director Volker Hein for this boxing with my inner self theatrical experience.

And the Theatre A Parte from Witten for hosting the Second International Theatre Festival “Klein aber Fein”. Thank You very much!

Theatrically Yours,

Pinkhas - Peter Friesen

P.S.
...I’ve also read that being a professional boxer is not only dangerous, but also a quite unrewarding profession. That, through some reason, in many countries boxers don’t receive the pension... If this is really the case, then it should be changed. Don’t You think so?.. Watching the play "”Das Herz des Boxers” I kept on wondering: What was the financial situation of the Red Leo?..

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