EXCERPTS FROM REVIEWS 1999-2016

 

STURM IN PATUMBAH


** Mass & Fieber tells an atmospheric, modern fairy tale with a dark side and historical truths. The Villa Patumbah, an eclectic Gesamtkunstwerk, here becomes more than a stage set, it is awakened to life. (Katja Baigger, NZZ) * Sturm in Patumbah suavely rides the course between Lehrstück and Trash and colonial comedy... a logistic and dramaturgical masterpiece. (Kaa Linder, nachtkritik) * The tour, directed by Niklaus Helbling and written by Brigitte Helbling, through Villa Patumbah, is as such already so delightful, that the serious undertones of its subject almost - almost - disappear in all the Aaahs directed at the architecture, the Yeeeahs for the Sing-along moments, and the Bravos for the spirited acting... (Alexandra Kedves, Tagesanzeiger) **

DER SCHWARZE KOMET

** This must be the secret of these 100 minutes: That poetry and work ethos are hardly ever found in such close quarters, such intimate communion. (Judith von Sternberg, Frankfurter Rundschau) * A stand for poetry (Frank Quilitsch, Thüringische Landeszeitung) * An homage to a long lost variety form, a real spectacle, but also for a local audience...  And "Der schwarze Komet" is definitely more. In spite of all the delight in absurd theatrical moments, the second part of the project with Theaterhaus Jena, written by Brigitte Helbling, is also a parable about the theatre. And, in that sense, also about life. (Christoph Schütte, FAZ) **

BLACK FACE: DIE VILLA

** In these times of fierce debates about Black Face on stage, this piece offers a critical discourse of the theatre form through a dialectical volte that tells its controversial history and undermines it through historical narratives. The result is as intelligent as it is entertaining. (Hartmut Krug, Deutschlandradio Kultur) * Wonderful nonsense is followed by clever sentences, Nietzsche rants out of the window, a group of spectators finds shelter in a camping caravan that is the home of the forgotten silent film star Fatty Arbuckle... (Angelika Böhn, Ostthüringsche Zeitung) **

TELL/ZAHHAK

** The Swiss specialists for theatrical Hero-Dämmerung are back! Here at last comes a truly a contemporary answer to the questions that the terms homeland, freedom and heroism still instinctively carry. (Die Zeit) * A brilliant theatrical project (Andreas Tobler, Tagesanzeiger) * One of the most fruitful intercultural encounters that have been shown on a Swiss stage during the last years. (Daniele Muscionico, NZZ) * Both Tellprojects have dared much and won more - and as a east-western exchange of myths they are most cleverly linked into each other. (Stephan Reuter, Basler Zeitung) **

 

FALL OUT GIRL

** Those who saw Thuringia’s far-out post-apocalyptic Rock-Revue will be telling their grandchildren about that evening when Pikachu rose into the sky and the radioactive waste disposal site Kyffhausen opened its gates. (Dresdner Kulturmagazin) * Substantial social criticism as a disturbing party-event... there should definitely be more of this in German theatres. (Nachtkritik) * Go there! Really! Take your friends! (Avant Art Festival Blog) * What an evening! My head is reeling like after a wild night out! We spent the evening with Fall Out Girl and Bartleby... the show is pointed social criticism, packed into over-the-top pop theatre. Its message is like a hang-over: It really hits you when your brain stops swimming. (Isabel Hemmel: Tagesanzeiger) **


GELD UND GOTT

** Mass & Fieber, like Superman, can move through walls. (Stefan Busz, Der Landbote) * „Geld und Gott" is not a simple story and links many things together - nothing less than Money, God and Hell, than a criticism of the global system of finance and capitalism and the enormous hybris of the protagonist. Think you've seen and heard all this during the last years? Most certainly not in the way Mass & Fieber shows it to you. (Sabrina Glanzmann, nahaufnahmen.ch) * We are offered big theatre on a small stage, that is on a par with the big stage. The audience at the Premiere gave thanks with long standing ovations. (Linus Baur, Zürcher Landzeitung) * The script of "Geld and Gott", written by Brigitte and Niklaus Helbling, combines different plot lines in a surprising way to an absurd whole... a wild mixture of social satire and bubbly soap opera, light, but never light-weight. (Miriam Glass, Basler Zeitung) **


DIE SCHWARZE KAMMER

** Four wonderful and authentic actors that can also sing, two musicians, that can also act and music that feels like balm on an open wound...this gothic opera is a small miracle (DRS2 aktuell) * And Georg Büchner as well, one would like to imagine, is applauding from his grave. (Süddeutsche Zeitung) * First they open up your head, and then they scrub your brain... The Black Chamber is furious event, uncannily precise and concentrated, a Tinguely machine of the theatre... (Der Bund) * The great strength of the evening lies in leaving the audience room for their own images and thoughts... (Berner Zeitung) * It takes courage to write an operatic evening on civil war, even more so when the play contains humorous elements. In the case of Mass & Fieber this courage pays out in full... (Werderberger & Obertoggenburger) **


TIERPARK

** Dada humor meets a criticism of civilisation. Once upon a time, colonisers left home in search of paradise and created a new hell ... the performance gives a taste of this hell: are these happy scouts leading us into the abyss? * The seriousness of the Tierpark performance contains an ironic wit. The Safariheft is an amazing contribution. (Der Bund) * A deep and strange picture presents itself on the green grass between Zentrum Paul Klee and the roaring Autobahn... (DRS2) **


HOUDINI

** Ladies and gentlemen: Mass & Fieber, Switzerland’s greatest association machine onstage! Their name is synonymous for intelligent pop theatre. In a blinding vaudeville show they present feats, neuroses and the absurd death of the self-liberator between psycho rock and mamme-swing... (NZZ am Sonntag) * „Houdini“, like the historical escapist, is the title of the latest multi-channel production by the raging hounds from Mass & Fieber. The Rock’n’Roll-Show by Nik Helbling & Co. starts with easy entertainment and ends, a clever feat, in heavy politics. (NZZ) * Mass & Fieber has found the perfect venue in the venerable club Mascotte. The club is the fitting address for this cult evening full of loud music and lots of action, and the adequate place for a show about the most legendary magician of all times. (Radio DRS) * And now the most famous Zürich rock theatre group of its time, Mass & Fieber, has packed the great Houdini into a backstreet club format... (Basler Zeitung) * P.S. Showbiz is also revealed as a kind of torture. This truth is not relevant for this show. On the contrary: we exit from the club with the age-old theatrical insight, which comes only with great performances, that being an actor must simply be the coolest profession in the world. (Tages Anzeiger) **


KING PLACEBO

** Revue and ruffs: sounds like a wild combination. (Basler Zeitung) * Voilà, this is the most original, funniest, most entertaining and wittiest new play of the season: King Placebo is a bitter-sweet rock-musical-fairytale-show on pills and the pharma industry. (Online-Reports) * Love, sickness, fusions and treason - much is possible on the stage of chemistry. (Basler Zeitung) * Songs by Martin Gantenbein and Markus Schönholzer are on a par with their heroes, the Tigerlillies. And the well-oiled and often-proven interaction of Helbling's direction, Dirk Thiele's set design und Salome Schneebeli's choreography has no peer. (Aargauer Zeitung) * For side effects, consult your bible, your Shakespeare or your doctor. (NZZ am Sonntag) **


AUTODROM

** The Hyundai is my shephard (Neue Zürcher Zeitung) * Human beings will evolve into automobile reptiles: forever on the road, hallelujah! (Zürcher Oberländer) * Theatre on the fast lane: with speed and comedy and the roaring performance of nine actors. (DRS2 aktuell) * In Mass & Fieber, music is always more than just fuel. The bitter-sweet song structures of hits such as the „Apocalypse-Waltz" or «Warm Leatherette» are the stuff of international pop giants. (die taz / Kultur Hamburg) * Autodrom is a mixture of Hamburger and Marthaler School ... a noteworthy potential. (Frankfurter Rundschau) * «Autodrom» will be known as the first play by Mass & Fieber that is not only a pleasure to watch, but also easy to understand (Sonntagszeitung) **


RED CROSS OVER

** The political theatre is dead, long live the political theatre! (NZZ am Sonntag) * Le plus important spectacle conçu par l'AMJ (La Presse Nord Vaudoise) * The renowned theatre group Mass & Fieber has set sail, with course towards Switzerland and its myth of neutral innocence (SonntagsZeitung) * C'est provocant et subtil (Le Nouvelliste) * A tender monument for the humanitarian junkie (Neue Zürcher Zeitung) * Dunants nightmare: the red cross show for the swiss exposition (Die Welt) * Croisés humanitaires passés à la moulinette de l'arteplage mobile (Le Courrier) * Look to the side-program for substance and critical views. One of its highlights is the theatrical show «Red Cross Over» (Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung) * The take on the red-white twin of the white-red Swiss Cross demonstrates the self-irony that the supposedly humorless Swiss are capable of. (Süddeutsche Zeitung) **


KRAZY KAT

** Krazy Kat, mad mouse, a knowledgable pleasure (Neue Zürcher Zeitung) * without smoke there's no revolution (Basler Zeitung) * Music, drive, power, uninhibited comedy (Tages-Anzeiger Zürich) * Subject matter, in a vaudeville-rock-kind of way, is everything that preoccupied the Sixties, and after them the Eighties (Aargauer Tagblatt) * A cast that manages to realize, with hallucinatory sureness, even the most absurd ideas (Berner Zeitung) * More anarchy than ever before (die tageszeitung Berlin) * A remix of the revolution (Hamburger Abendblatt) * The mess is a dramaturgic principle, the absense of style a stylistic decision (Berliner Zeitung) * You could probably call it postdramatical or neo-dadaistic (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) **


PRÄRIEPRIESTER

** Saddle your horses, bycicles and mustangs and off we go to Arizona. (Zeitung am Abend) * A brilliantly strange mixture of musicians and theatrical art. (Hamburger Abendblatt) * Stage magic with grand stories and without formula. (Sonntagszeitung) Puppet theatre à la Andy Warhol. (Neue Zürcher Zeitung) * A masterpiece. And the audience knew it. (Basler Zeitung) * Not to be topped in their exuberant performance and imagination. (Berner Zeitung) * Boundlessly imaginative. Really funny. (Der Bund, Bern) * Präriepriester is a must not just for John Wayne fans. (St. Galler Tagblatt) * Comical and trendy. (Tages-Anzeiger, Zürich) **


BAMBIFIKATION

** So this is how simple theatre can be, and how brilliant, made not out of plastic, but art-ificially. (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) * With an anarchy, concentration and dedication which we hardly ever experience outside of childhood. (Der Tagesspiegel, Berlin) * Mass & Fieber is storming the country with their cult piece Bambifikation. (Schweizer Illustrierte) * The stage turns into a mind opening drug. (Die Weltwoche) * A small stage wonder. Trash Hitparade as a low tech event with high fidelity quality. (Neue Zürcher Zeitung) * Bambi, we love you. (Generalanzeiger Bonn) * So much fun that it hurts. (Rheinische Post) * This will not be the last that we hear from Mass & Fieber. (Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung) **