1984: Back to No Future

A performance by Gob Squad

Project description

The urgency of an impending apocalypse serves as an occasion for Gob Squad to send their audience on an imaginary journey back in time to 1984 where they investigate the relationship between the past, as written history, and the future, which has yet to be written. The British-German performance collective has long been known for its avant-garde, post-dramatic theatre and will be celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Collective development practice and audience interaction are the central elements of their artistic work. In their latest production “1984: Back to No Future”, the encounter between the performers and the audience takes centre stage. For their performance where theatre and pop culture merge, Gob Squad incorporates motifs from George Orwell’s dystopian novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four”, in which history is systematically rewritten by the Ministry of Truth. Their play is performative science-fiction – an interactive experiment which aims to reprogram history together with the audience, and so doing, create a vision of a better future.

Music videos from 1984 – the year MTV held its first annual Video Music Awards – serve as the projection surfaces for these “possible futures”. Although the hairdos, fashion and music appear antiquated from today’s point of view, what is especially remarkable is how gender images and the use of cultural appropriation have changed over the course of time. Gob Squad’s “1984” is a multimedia performance, in which re-enactments of scenes from these music videos are the focus. The audience is invited to alter how the realities of life are depicted. By (re-)envisioning the past and future, the artists’ collective wishes to disrupt the Western-influenced narrative and allow especially underrepresented voices to be heard so that people – in the sense of the novel – can learn the “true”, unedited version of history, from which they can imagine a new future. Depending on the audience’s interaction, the constellations and relationships on stage will develop differently in each performance. In preparation for this project, the performers will conduct research visits in New York, Shanghai, Bengaluru and Leipzig. Together with local partners, Gob Squad will explore selected themes in greater depth, e.g. Afrofuturism, identity politics, experiences of marginalisation, artificial intelligence and multi-perspective storytelling.

Artistic Direction: Gob Squad
Performance: Johanna Freiburg, Sean Patten, Sharon Smith, Berit Stumpf, Sarah Thom, Bastian Trost, Simon Will, Damian Rebgetz und Tatiana Saphir
Sound design: Sebastian Bark, Catalina Fernandez
Video design: Miles Chalcraft, Noam Gorbat
Costume: Ingken Benesch
Stage design: Amina Nouns
Sound design and Technical management: Chris Umney
Dramaturgy and production management: Christina Runge
VR consulting, development and design: Joris Weijdom
Artistic collaboration: Mat Hand
Director’s Assistant : Valeria Germain
Asssitant Costume: Simon Kernen
Assistant Stage design: Stella Nikisch
Assistant VR: Diede Tap
Internship: Rodrigo Zorzanelli Cavalcanti
Gob Squad Management: Eva Hartmann
PR: Alexandra Lauck
UK Producer: Ayla Suveren


No upcoming events at present

Previous events

  • 24 June, 2021 to 29 May, 2021: Premiere & Shows

    Schauspiel Leipzig, Leipzig

  • 26 May, 2021 to 30 May, 2021: Premiere & Shows

    Sort/Hvid, Copenhagen