Text Stefanie de Velasco in a version of Catharina Fillers
Direction Catharina Fillers
Set & Costumes Cordula Körber
Live Music Öğünç Kardelen
Dramaturgy Hannah Biedermann
With Nadja Duesterberg, Sibel Polat, Öğünç Kardelen
Translation & Supertitels Anna Galt
Age 15 years and older
Duration 80 minutes
Time & Location
- 04/28/17 10:00 am
- 04/28/17 7:00 pm
- 04/29/17 5:00 pm
Nini and Jameelah live in the same area, spend all of their time together and, at 14, are all grown up, at least according to them. That’s why they buy stockings, pull them right up to their thighs and start practicing for the great adventure of losing their virginity. They mix together milk, brandy and passionfruit juice, call it tiger milk, and set off into the Berlin summer, which could be their last one together. They hang around with Nico, who covers the entire city in graffiti and gives Nini a feeling of being at home. They party, smoke and go to the swimming pool with Amir. Then, all of a sudden, something happens that really messes stuff up. And this puts everything at risk of falling apart…
In her novel, Stefanie de Velasco depicts a thrilling and unfiltered portrait of youth, which fascinates through its fleet-footed yet powerful language. At the center are two friends searching for self-determination whose world collapses in a nearly indescribable manner. As long as they have each other, however, nothing can happen to them. In Catharina Fillers’ production of a stage adaption of the novel, the two actors move at breath-taking speed through the events, alternating between narration and dialog, taking apart the entire stage while they do so.
COMEDIA Theater Köln, one of the oldest independent children’s and youth theaters in North Rhine-Westphalia, and, since 2009, the largest, was founded in 1974 and has been located in Cologne since 1982. It is a production house with a strong pool of artistic guests and festival organizers and a central location for the networking of theaters for young audiences.
Director Catharina Fillers was the artistic director of COMEDIA Kinder- und Jugendtheater from 2002 to 2007. She has worked as a freelance director since 2008 and creates productions for children, young people and adults.
Tigermilch won an award at the WESTWIND 2016 festival and was nominated for the 2014 Kölner Theaterpreis.
Strong images and text for a teenage friendship and crisis with all of the attendant harassment – the desire for self-determination, the curiosity about sex and alcohol, the denial of moral and other rules, a desire to consume, the experience of being lost. Even if the topic of relationships/men/boys is rather dominant in terms of quantity, the actual center of this production lies in making the joint search for autonomy of both girls visible. Alongside the bizarre project “preparing to lose our virginity” through a kind of fake prostitution, for which the two 14-year-old friends Nini and Jameelah drink up sufficient courage with their self-invented awful homebrew “tiger milk”, multiple dramas and a real tragedy, a murder, develop. The difficult situation in which the two girls find themselves thanks to their involuntary witnessing of the event as well as complicated family relationships and a looming deportation do not only charge this story of adolescence dramatically, but politically and socially as well.
The production by COMEDIA Theater Köln is able to cleverly combine the multiple plotlines of Stefanie de Velasco’s novel into a thrilling and deeply touching scenario. Alongside the pithy language, the excellent acting from Nadja Duesterberg and Sibel Polats, which the director Catharina Fillers rightly places her complete trust in, makes a strong contribution. The open and simultaneously both empathic and unsparing performance allows even the most doubtful actions of the two young protagonists to be portrayed on stage without a detour into denunciation. The stage design, used both symbolically and functionally, an attentive musician in the background and precisely placed dialogue also contribute to the theatrical strength of this production of Tigermilch.
All in all, this is an outstandingly successful literary adaption which takes into account the growing diversity within our culture by refraining from presenting its protagonists as “outsiders” against the backdrop of an alleged “normality”. What’s more: one has to deal with a certain ambivalence.