She She P. is the Marquise of O.

Photo: Bettina Stöß
Photo: Bettina Stöß
Photo: Bettina Stöß
Photo: Bettina Stöß
Photo: Bettina Stöß

In Kleist’s Marquise, She She Pop have met their match. Never before or after has the public been so determinedly confronted with personal shame and disgrace: the Marquise announces her inexplicable pregnancy in the local newspaper in order to propose to her unknown, alleged rapist.

What the Marquise has (and which we lack) is a destiny. We watch her speechlessly and full of envy as she wades through low points with her head held high. How does one do that? In a scenic self-experiment, certain members of She She Pop will present the Marquise’s most important strategies and apply them to themselves, in particular: the blind date with the public, the hostile takeover of responsibility, and, last but not least, the initial loss of control due to fainting.


By and with: Lisa Lucassen and Sebastian Bark.
Dramaturgical Advice: Ilia Papatheodorou.
Costume & stage design:
Sandra Fox.
Light Design: Gregor Roth.
Assistant: Sabine Salzmann.

premiere, November 2011, Maxim Gorki Theater, Berlin

more dates:
  • May 2013, SESC Festival Palco Giratório. Within the scope of, International Brecht Society Symposium., Porto Alegre, Brasil


She She P. ist die Marquise von O. from She She Pop on Vimeo.


Fatal Weakness
"… Most of the time, our suspicion that this is no more than simple deconstruction is beautifully proven wrong. Such is the case, when Bark encourages Lucassen to thank him for something, but to please do so wholeheartedly without any remnant of irony. What here reveals itself is the count’s arrogance, insisting at all costs on own his form of paying his debt. And endorsed so by Kleist in the process. But we also see here the arrogance of the Marquise, who values her “pure soul” somewhat too highly.
Generally, the hypnosis power game lends itself well to a revitalization of that “I’ll do that alone” radicalism, which so many of Kleist’s characters fatally spiral into. … But to end the game, they have to join forces. And so after “Testament” and “Seven Sisters”, this piece is not only a highly-recommendable continuation of She She Pop’s exploration of canonic texts with alternate means, but also a reformulation of one of their working principles, namely: salvation based on reciprocity."
Sophie Diesselhorst, Nachtkritik, 11.11.2011

THEATER: Nicht für das große Schicksal
"...Es ist weniger Kammerspiel als Kammer-Workshop. Auf szenische Aufbereitung verzichten die beiden, alles bleibt bei ihnen Kommentar und geistreiche Reflexion. ... Es ist ein geradezu exemplarischer und dabei durch und durch ehrlicher Abend. Denn er bringt ausdrücklich vor, was viele andere Stücke in diesen Tagen zum großen Kleist-Jubiläum lediglich als verstecktes Problem mit sich herumwälzen ... „Du bist einfach nicht geschaffen für das große Schicksal“, dieser Satz aus dem She She Pop-Abend trifft ins Mark unserer Bühnenwirklichkeit."
Christian Rakow, Märkische Allgemeine, 21.11.2011

You have to get lost in order to arrive
"… Lisa Lucassen and Sebastian Bark deal with all the impotencies, all the lack of awareness that characterizes the text of the novella by constantly putting each other into trance and then letting the other read out sections of the piece. Of course, this also has something silly about it, which stems itself against the text, against the terror and the emotion that it demands from the reader. Only later, after the performance, does its reflective potential reveal itself. Over a longer space of time, the novella works its way through the banter surrounding it."
Katrin Bettina Müller, taz - die tageszeitung, 22.11.2011

“She She Pop’s charming self-experiment along the existential abyss…”
Barbara Burckardt, Theater heute, January 2012

Cruising Kleist III
"She She Pop haven’t spent much energy on the historical circumstances and nonetheless or precisely for this reason … come very close to the text of the Marquise of O.
The game with the pillow, which Lisa Lucassen and Sebastian Bark slip under each other’s clothes “under hypnosis” as sign of pregnancy, is funny in the best sense of the word. (…) Lucassen and Bark read the Marquise performatively to demonstrate how rules, laws of reality are suspended bit by bit in the text. (…)
“You don’t have to feel called on to assume responsibility.” That’s one of those She She Pop sentences that stage language and speech not least of all in the studio stage. For it is precisely this negation that the audience most strongly reacts to. And at one point Bark carries – of course under hypnosis - a disemboweled stag across the stage as a “burden of fate”; mastering life as simply as that.
Very nice is also the scene in which they attempt to produce “clarity about our condition” under hypnosis. Is it at all possible to become clear about one’s condition when hypnotized? Finally Lisa and Sebastian snap each other so quickly into “hypnotic trance” that we realize reality isn’t as cheap as ice cream. Really great Kleist in the studio.
Torsten Flüh, NightOut@Berlin (blog)