When the African Siwa is talked into using sustainable methods of cotton cultivation by a Swiss aid worker, it helps two young Chinese businesspeople to make a success of their first start-up. When their trade in soya beans begins to falter, this has an impact on Romanian pig-breeders, which in turn has direct consequences for the marriage of Europeans Katrin and Thomas. When Katrin dares to embark on exhibitionist escapades on the Internet, she sparks not only a very tangible crisis in their relationship, but also a surprisingly international showdown involving the Chinese entrepreneur and others. Meanwhile, the thing – a cotton boll – is travelling its way round the globe, and looks on amazed at the wheelings and dealings of humanity.
In a world where everything is connected with everything else, characters are driven by their yearning for the inexplicable, the magic moment, the great love – at the same time as they get tangled up in the global network of causal interrelationships.
Philipp Löhle’s Das Ding, 2014 © Andrew H Williams
“Pagnuco’s directing succeeds in making this an entertaining and imaginative experience, which is a bit Monty Python (the plastic fish, for instance, as a caricaturesque toy) and a bit Forced Entertainment, thanks to the strong physicality and visuality” – British Theatre Guide, London
“The UK premiere of Phliipp Löhle’s 2011 play (translated by Birgit Schreyer Duarte) makes for pretty, sparky, entertaining theatre and it’s often quite amusing.” – Susan Elkin, What’s On Stage
“In a highly comical, breakneck fashion, Philipp Löhle illuminates the mechanisms of our globalised, technologised, rapidly changing world.” Deutsches Theater, Berlin
“Now, with Das Ding, he has written a charming, original, stunningly witty comedy.” Stephan Keim, Frankfurther Rundschau
Playwright Philipp Löhle
Translator Birgit Schreyer Duarte
Director Tanja Pagnuco
Set and Costume Designer Martina Trottmann
Cast: Ivy Corbin, Christopher Lane, Martins Imhamgbe, Dylan Kennedy and Leo Wan
Assistant Director Katharina Reinthaller
Lighting Designer Pablo Fernandez Baz
Sound Designer Max Pappenheim
Lighting Programmer Ian Dixon-Wilkinson
Stage Manager Jade Gooch
Assistant Stage Manager Barbora Vacková
Online Marketing Stephanie Yamson
Set Builder Adam Pang
Producer Tanja Pagnuco
Producer for StoneCrabs Franko Figueiredo
Assistant Producers Vera Janke; Hattie Coupe; Ferghal Crowley
Das Ding was co-produced and directed by StoneCrabs associate artist Tanja Pagnuco and presented at the New Diorama Theatre and supported by Swiss Cultural Foundation, Unity Theatre Trust, Sylvia Waddilove Foundation, The Englishschool Trust, the Arts Council of England and the generosity of many crowdfunding and private supporters.