When Dreams meet Reality

A multimedia performance dismantles the stereotype of a Caribbean paradise

White dream beaches and deep blue sea under a burning sun: a fantastic destination and a place of desire equally for frost-stricken Europeans like us. Advertising has created some land of milk and honey where always smiling people are serving delicious cocktails to the rhythms of samba. The reality of poverty, illness and natural disasters is readily left out. But in what way is the Caribbean this paradise we dream of? Does it exist at all? These are the questions pursued by a group of artists called “club tipping point” in the multimedia performance “Paradise Caribbean” at the “Fourth World” in Kreuzberg.

Puppet and object theatre, play, music and film are skilfully intertwined in this multi-layered project. “Paradise Caribbean” approaches its issue from two angles:
first as object theatre, with tiny puppets on a stick and carefully designed models, supplemented by film sequences. They are telling the story of a Berlin couple that tries to escape life in the big city towards the sun, but does not find the great happiness on its journey. During the rough cruise both get seasick, at the noisy and dirty place of arrival they feel just as alien as in the bungalow in the midst of the jungle at night; only some rum and the familiar sound of a Verdi opera enable them to bear the new environment with its strange noises.
After this, the perspective of object theatre is left, the puppet players (Nicole de Cruppé, Sebastian Becker) have become actors themselves when they get to know the “black man“ and let themselves in with the country and its people. They are drinking and dancing together to the sounds of a live combo and for a short time southern vitality is thriving. This brief moment of getting closer to each other, however, is destroyed by the jealous husband, who doesn’t like his wife to dance with the Caribbean man.

This quite typical story of tourists is interrupted by short thoughts of the “black man” (Patrick Joseph), which the spectator gets to know much more than the fictitious couple. Addressing the audience as if he was improvising, he self-ironically and wisely talks to it about wealth and poverty, religion and the search for a paradise on earth cunningly guided by the tourist companies.

In a subtle and humorous way the play uncovers stereotypes and unmasks dreams that appear individual ones as mass-produced products, at the same time sympathising with the protagonists. Patrick Joseph performs the “Caribbean Black” with a nonchalant confidence and incredible energy, addressing the audience directly again and again. A thought-provoking piece by a group of artists which aims at examining terms like utopia, freedom and time, consciously neglecting the borders between societal policies, philosophy and performing arts.

(Anouk Meyer in Neues Deutschland, July 24, 2013)

-> back to “voices”