Two people are sitting at a table, following stage directions through headphones. That’s all – no actors, no costumes, no dramatic changes of light. “Etiquette” invites two visitors at a time to act an unknown play, just for each other.
Either in German or English language
Guided by instructions from two MP3 players, two visitors act out a story that may seem strangely familiar to them. But is this really just a play? Is the other person hearing something completely different? Why the serious looks, the sudden laughs? You become part of a production that often arouses memories of famous scenes from film or theatre.
Ant Hampton and Silvia Mercuriali developed this concept based on Godard films, in which two strangers often strike up a conversation as if coincidentally, like the one between a young prostitute and a philosopher in Vivre Sa Vie. These often aimless and at the same time profound conversations form the background for the “Autoteatro”. What do you tell a stranger? How do you tell it? Which offers do you take up and which do you not? “Etiquette” is a performance for the moment – created for and by two visitors alone.
By Ant Hampton & Silvia Mercuriali
Artistic direction Katja Timmerberg
Sound design and edit Anthony Hampton
Speakers Gemma Brockis, Anthony Hampton, Greg McLaren, Silvia Mercuriali, Melanie Wilson
Produced by Paul Bennun (Somethin‘ Else)
Supported by Arts Council England
Translation Thomas Rach
Speakers Susanne Sachsse, Heiko Senst, Verena Schonlau & Christian Wittmann
Sound Tito Toblerone
Edit and mastering Anthony Hampton
Produced by HAU Hebbel am Ufer
Production Jakob Schweighofer
Rotozaza / Ant Hampton / Silvia Mercuriali (GB)
Anthony „Ant” Hampton works as a theatre director and performance artist. In 1998 he co-founded the multimedia project Rotozaza with performance artist Silvia Mercuriali, which focused on the experimental merging of performance, theatre and installation art. Within the context of the 2007 Edinburgh Festival, Hampton and Mercuriali presented their last joint production (“Etiquette”), which has since been shown in over 20 countries and translated into 14 languages. “Etiquette” did not just mark the end of Rotozaza, however; it also served as the beginning of the “Autoteatro” series – Hampton’s most recent cycle of projects which positions the audience at the centre of the production. Alongside his solo work Hampton also collaborates regularly with other artists (including Britt Hatzius, Glen Neath and Joji Koyama) and in 2008 was chief dramatic advisor at Manifesta7.