Devilishly Good – Music Theatre at Radialsystem

Tired, frustrated, dissatisfied? The music show "Empathy for the Devil" by Nico and the Navigators is not only devilishly good, but also makes you happy.

If you are currently feeling the blues because of Corona or other reasons and want to bring a lighter moment into your life, then check out this play! "Empathy for the Devil", put together by the artist collective Nico and the Navigators, does not follow any rule, any norm and, yes, also incidentally breaks all known genre boundaries. But that is precisely where the magic of this music theatre performance lies. A highlight of the musical calendar year.

But what is it about? Last year, the artist collective Nico and the Navigators actually wanted to perform Carl Maria von Weber's "Freischütz" with the Konzerthausorchester, in a fresh, modern and newly adapted version. But that didn't work out because of the pandemic. And so the programme had to be thrown around and rearranged. The artists went back and, appropriately enough, looked at the motif of the devil, evil that is, and chewed on this diabolical initial idea in a long process that lasted almost three months. Next, the appropriate pieces of music were picked out and arranged for the band. Now you can marvel at the result. 

On Thursday, the premiere was celebrated at Radialsystem. The end result is a daring par force ride through history, through all the dark feelings and states of consciousness a human being can have. The play is a mix of classical and pop, rock and baroque, as if there were no artistic or aesthetic barriers. From scene to scene, the performers act out different diabolical situations that make you think and ask the question: What exactly is it that is evil? Is it inside us or does it creep into us? As Wagner already knew, it is very easy to find it in the musically dionysian. 

On stage left is the band, consisting of violin, piano, guitar, drums and trumpet. So here, too, everything is half pop, half operatic and, above all, surprising. Sometimes the musicians mutate into performers and the performers into perfectly formed opera singers. Sometimes David Bowie is sung ("The Man Who Sold The World"), sometimes the "Aria of the Demon" by Anton Rubinstein, sometimes a Mephisto piece from Charles Gonoud's "Faust" or "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" by the Beatles. Each piece breathes feeling, power, verve. A stunning round dance spreads out within the 90 electrifying minutes, consisting not only of singing and performance, but also of dance. Particularly impressive is the performative madness displayed by actor Martin Clausen. You get scared, also thanks to the cleverly used cameras and video snippets - and yet feel liberated. Go and see this play. It makes you devilishly happy!

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