The bridge between being principled and practical is called survival. In theatre, we always use stories to be able to talk about the world, we play roles to be able to speak of human nature, and we pretend that a table is a table. But we were aiming for a reverse principle. Since we cannot speak with any certainty and artistic integrity of anything else than ourselves, our position, our principles and non-principles – all the rest are moralistic discourses or whining excuses and guilt washing – precisely the things that an artist should not possess can emerge between practicality and integrity: detachment, fascism, sexism, narcissism, misanthropy … It is these little perversions which show that we are not exempted, even if we pretend that we are. In the end, we have to admit to ourselves that we can do no other. “Ich kann nicht anders.” And this dual position is more than perverse.

Ich kann nicht anders (I can do no other) is Beton Ltd.’s fifth performance. It is a performance where audience members feel like voyeurs peeking into selected intimate moments of three people. Their relationship is fluid, their roles are ephemeral, their words … their words are something we would never write down, never say out loud in front of people we do not know, never repeat. Because they are so intimate, so banal, so everyday, so connected to everything that is daily omni-present, but cannot grasp it fully: terrorism, capitalism, hashtags, patriarchy, sex, food … and also: other people. The atmosphere of this piece is ever elusive, almost embarrassed and the shifts are sublime: viewer can never fully immerse in the performance, even though the performers are so close you could almost touch them, but one can also not look away. What happens behind closed doors or a curtain?

Conceived and directed by
Beton Ltd.

Primož Bezjak, Branko Jordan, Katarina Stegnar

Dead Tongues

Space design
sonda4, Toni Soprano

Costume design
Mateja Benedetti

Sound design
Jure Vlahovič

Dramaturgical adviser
Urška Brodar

Language editing
Barbara Rogelj

Technical director
Andrej Petrovčič

Executive producer
Maja Vižin

Produced by
Bunker, Ljubljana

The performance was supported by: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, Municipality of Ljubljana

With help of
Elektro Ljubljana d.d., Slovensko mladinsko gledališče

26th August 2016