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Ruhrtriennale, 2017

April in New York. Eric Packer, an unscrupulous 28-year-old billionaire is driving across town for a haircut in his stretch limo. All around the world exchange rates are shaky and the markets are tanking. The heart of the metropolis is on the verge of breaking point. The President is making an official visit, vast crowds of fans have turned out for the funeral of a Sufi rapper, violence erupts at anti-globalization demonstrations and artists mount guerrilla actions to gain publicity. Even Eric Packer’s life is running out of control. The production is based on the novel Cosmopolis by leading American novelist Don DeLillo and shows an attempt to puncture the bubble of the economic elite with reality and protest. How can a more just world be constructed and who is going to make this happen? Can we prevent complete self-destruction? Or might it be our best hope for a better future? Cosmopolis is Johan Simons’s final production as Artistic Director of the Ruhrtriennale and of NTGent. As in his drama of the underclass Accattone (2015) and the political reflection Die Fremden (2016) the director combines a major contemporary theme, in this case turbocapitalism’s repeated ability to rise from the dead, with the question of our individual actions and our possible influence.

Johan Simons: director
Adapted from Don DeLillo
Eric Sleichim: composition
Bettina Pommer: scenograhy
An De Mol: costumes
Dennis Diels: light
Will-Jan Pielage: sounddesign
Koen Tachelet: stage adaptation, dramaturgy
Dorothea Neweling: dramaturgy

BL!NDMAN [sax]
Koen Maas: soprano saxophone
Pieter Pellens: alto saxophone
Piet Rebel: tenor saxophone
Raf Minten: baritone saxophone

Benjamin Dousselaere: electronics

Elsie de Brauw, Pierre Bokma, Mandela Wee Wee, Bert Luppes: actors

Ruhrtriennale and NTGent: production