In 1992 Peter Handke wrote a 60-page play of stage directions without even one line of spoken text. The world premiere of the play, titled “The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other” and directed by Claus Peymann, took place at the Vienna Burgtheater and has been produced at numerous theatres ever since. Handke‘s decision to forego spoken text – seen as a provocation by German-speaking audiences at the time – is very much in line with a principle followed by the theatre company Nico and the Navigators. In their own situation-based collages, spoken language plays only a marginal role, whereas most of the expression is transported through the body. Since they began 15 years ago, the group has created a special theatrical form of imagery and successfully applied its unique artistic style to related genres like music theatre.
In collaboration with the acoustic artist Mattef Kuhlmey, Nico and the Navigators developed a new musical piece. “The Hour We Knew Too Much of Each Other” explored the communicative behaviour in our digitalised society. With new musical interpretations of songs from Bonnie “Prince” Billy to Benjamin Britten, with body language and text fragments they picked up the beat of life, random and strict: How estranged are we to one another? Do we know too much of each other? What do we really know about each other? How do our stories intertwine?
Artistic director: Nicola Hümpel
Set designer: Oliver Proske
Costumes: Frauke Ritter
Soundscapes / Sound Design: Mattef Kuhlmey
Collaboration Sound Design: Hannes Gwisdek
By and with: Philipp Caspari, Adrian Gillott (GB), Yui Kawaguchi (JP), Annedore Kleist, Julla von Landsberg, Anna-Luise Recke, Ted Schmitz (US), Patric Schott and others
Music: Tobias Weber (E-Gitarre und Saiteninstrumente)
Production: Ilja Fontaine, Judith Bodenstein
Additional Dates and Venues:
Théâtre de Nîmes, Nîmes: 2015; Festival Automne en Normandie, Rouen: 2015