/ Prehistory / The Theatre Butcher
TEATERSLAGTEREN / THE THEATRE BUTCHER (1999-2001)
A (too) PERSONAL PERFORMANCE
In the late summer of 1995
after a long exile in the German city of Hannover
Claus Beck-Nielsen returned to Denmark as Andy Warhol
a solo performance, a name, his claim to fame:
Andy Warhol opened the doors to the Danish audience, the Danish media, and the lid to Danish state subventions.
Sure he had his fifteen minutes in the lights!
but in a short moment of absence
out of the lights having a drink
he was taken as a hostage by the media
and turned into a theatre-and-what-else-critics
and from that day and the next four years
was the name of a butcher
a signature in the daily newspaper Politiken
hated by most theatre workers
Among these was his old co-operator from Germany, the Swiss director Rolf Heim, director of the Andy Warhol performance. One grey day he challenged Claus Beck-Nielsen to a stage duel: Lets bring the whole story, the fight between the good (art) and the bad (critics) into the lights!
The skinny younger critic was turned into a fat elderly performer stuffed with old newspapers: From Beck to Bock, the Theatre Butcher. As in the later case of Claus Nielsen the stories were his own, the clothes were his own, the sharp-sharper-now-too-sharp words & judgements were his own, the anxieties his own, the fear of revenge, death and the final day of the doom was his own. Just a little twist, from Beck to Bock, from reality to "fiction", from still hopeful to finally failed.
It was a GRAND success.
Premiere: April 1999 at Kaleidoskop Theatre in Copenhagen.
In 2001 the performance toured Denmark and Norway.
The beacon-nose of Bock and his long Bordeaux coat still reside in the cellars under Das Beckwerk
Bock never dies!