Deportation Cast by Björn Bicker (Germany)
Translated by Nils Sandvik
Just a few weeks ago, Elvira was attending school in Germany and had just fallen in love. Now, she is living on a rubbish tip in Kosovo and is staring at her mobile, which she can no longer use to make calls.
Elvira’s family was suddenly expelled from Germany after living there for many years. Back in Kosovo, they still fact the threat of poverty and discrimination because they are Roma. Elvira’s parents fight, her big brother is always out and about, and her little brother Egzon clings to her. He has not spoken since being left behind on a blazing housing estate when he was four. Nobody knows what he saw or went through. Nor does Elvira want to know. She does not want anything at all to do with the war or persecution, and she definitely does not want anything to do with this country where she does not even speak the language. She wants to go home. To Germany. To her boyfriend Bruno. “I’ll get you out of there,” he wrote in his last text message.
Back in Germany, Bruno discovers that his own father, a pilot, has flown deportees out of the country. Is it his fault that Elvira is no longer in Germany? Or the fault of the over-zealous official at the Aliens Office? And what about the teacher? Björn Bicker’s text weaves the story of two families into a moving and multi-layered play around the themes of responsibility and guilt. Which side is right? And who plays their role most convincingly?
The play opened at Staatstheater Hannover in 2011. It was nominated for the German Young People’s Theatre Prize in 2012:
“Guilt”, “responsibility“ and “justification” are the titles Björn Bicker gave to the three levels of the plot that form the basis of his play about the deportation of a Roma family from Germany to Kosovo. By turning attention to the people involved, the matter-of-fact bureaucratic act is impressively subjectivised. The story becomes the tragedy of a traumatised family, a drama of first love and separation, a lucrative business and a factor that undermines bourgeois middle-class certainties. In the process, it becomes clear that there is an appalling gap between the law and justice. Simple attributions of good and evil do not get you anywhere and do not do justice to the author’s courage to create complex contents. The author establishes a strong theatrical form, alternating linguistically poignant passages with pseudo-documentary, epic and dialogue passages.
– Jury, German Young People’s Theatre Prize
Rights for the Norwegian translation: Nils Sandvik, contact OIT for contact details
Deportation Cast will be performed as a rehearsed reading at Theater Café Festival Oslo 2014 by the acting students at Nordic Black Xpress, directed by Øystein Ulsberg Brager from Oslo International Theatre. The performance will be in Norwegian and subtitled in English.
The play is presented in collaboration with Kinder- und jugendtheaterzentrum. The translation is sponsored by Goethe-Institut.
Read more about Björn Bicker here.
With the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union.