“In Christoph Marthaler’s work, dreams hum softly, desires intertwine only by absolute coincidence, and fantasies timidly fill the emptiness of everyday life.”
La Terrasse, 2014
A gaudy hotel room, complete with floral wallpapers and a king size bed. In this seemingly relaxed, bourgeoise setting, two men and two women break into a wild and eclectic musical performance that nods to the tradition of vaudeville, stringing together folksongs, classical works, and pop music.
At first, we seem to be in a charming ball or a phenomenal recital. Gradually, realization dawns that we are in fact in the middle of nowhere, in a temporal and spatial break from reality. The characters enter, leave, and reappear, all in quintessential musical theatre gestures. In the twilight zone of the hotel room, they look so close yet so far away from one another.
This is the Israeli debut of Marthaler – the enfant terrible of Swiss theater, and one of the greatest musical theater makers of the last 40 years. In King Size he draws inspiration from the modern musical composition concept of enharmonics – the fact that two notes with different names can produce the same sound.
As in enharmonics, the figures in King Size also have a dual existence. They live their impossible lives, while Marthaler builds on familiar comedic tropes to lead them – and us – to the more lonely, grotesque, and tragic places of human existence. A painfully funny comedy, in which music and life entwine and fantasies of a “king size” life crash against the rock of reality.
Directed by Christoph Marthaler / Musical direction by Bendix Dethleffsen / Set design by Duri Bischoff / Costumes by Sarah Schittek / Dramaturgy by Malte Ubenauf / Lighting by Heide Voegelin Lights / Cast: Tora Augestad, Bendix Dethleffsen, Michael von der Heide, Nikola Weisse / Production: Theater Basel, Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne
With the support of Pro Helvetia – Swiss Arts Council
Performed in several languages, with Hebrew subtitles