Shadow. Eurydice says



©3007 | ACF New York


©3007 | New York


©3007 | Plakat

Shadow. Eurydice says


Elfriede Jelinek

English translation by Gitta Honegger

Solo performance in English with Alexandra Sommerfeld

‘Maybe I should go to a rock concert instead of the underworld? …’

Orpheus and Eurydice are the epitome of lovers. When Eurydice dies prematurely after having been bitten by a snake, Orpheus ventures into the underworld to bring her back to life, charming Hades with his music. But what if Eurydice doesn’t want to return?

>>> Feb | March 2023 in Washington and New York <<<

Click here for the London Journal



2 March 2023 at the ACF in New York

23 Feb 2023 at the ACF in Washington

Further dates from autumn 2023

Premiere on 13 Oct 2022 at the ACF in London


with Alexandra Sommerfeld

Directed by Sabine Mitterecker Sound design and live electronics by Wolfgang Musil




This production was an extraordinary evocation of the space left behind, in experience, and at end of life. Alexandra Sommerfeld electrified the stage with the musings of somewhere there – and yet not there, deftly inhabiting the ground of what it is to have departed, and what memory and experience constitute. The power of the rear-view mirror, and the sense of being stuck in a space of limbo is very powerfully evoked in script and sound. It is a feat very hard to achieve in theatre, to gain access to this sublime space, and to the transcendent, and the production achieved this very elusive and noble feat with poise, and an exact balance of weight to the subject and sensory experience being evoked.

Bob Richmond, artist, London 2022




SHADOW. Eurydice says in London, Washington and New York, SCHATTEN (Eurydike sagt) in Vienna a few years ago: how do the English-language version and the Viennese stage production differ?

They are two different evenings, two completely different versions of Elfriede Jelinek’s text. One in German, one in English, faithfully translated by Gitta Honegger. One with three actresses, one a solo. Elfriede Jelinek composes her texts, writes a wealth of material and leaves it up to the director how and in what theatrical adaptation they will stage it in time and space. Her plays are mountains of text; you first have to read and reread your way to the summit. Which can differ if the conditions of the production and/or spatial setting change.

The disused Atzgersdorf coffin factory in Vienna’s 23rd district, where we’ve performed in a number of areas from the entrance to two large halls, played an important part in how we designed the evening. The three actresses covered the space with their bodies, charted it with their voices and – in combination with the live electronics by Wolfgang Musil – transformed it into a site of imagination. Everything that we found in the halls – a metal door, huge rotor blades from the kilns that used to dry wood for the coffins, a trench that we filled with water – was used. We developed the evening for and with that space. But despite that, it was possible to transfer it to other venues. Whatever their architecture may be like, we see it is an invitation to play with the spaces, not against them. That’s how it was with SCHATTEN (Eurydike sagt) at the Odeïon in Salzburg and at the Salzlager in Hall.

Alexandra Sommerfeld was on stage in Vienna and is now playing the English version, too … Tell us what’s so special about your long-term collaboration.

From my perspective, it’s the fact that we’ve perfected our joint craft, our theatrical language. On and off, we’ve been working together for over two decades. Alexandra is a master of playing theatrical games, of the false bottom. Again and again, she juggles different, sometimes conflicting potential identifications. With all that she succeeds in getting out of her skin, as if she were outside looking in, commentating on herself and calling everything into question. Theatre is a hall of mirrors that sets affects free and opens up conceptual spaces in several dimensions. And luckily Alexandra lived in the English-speaking world for a while, so she doesn’t have any problems with the foreign language.

Shadow is a solo performance …

… in terms of the number of actresses, yes. Otherwise, it includes the entire theatre. At bottom, this production is the radical escalation of our way of working – everything from the body, everything with the body, everything through the body.

Why is the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice still relevant today?

The romantic ideal of love between a man and a woman that even lasts beyond death is the sweet song of patriarchal rule. But beneath the image of symmetry between the lovers hides the power to interpret the body, sexuality, reproduction or even just the images that we make of ourselves. The binary order separates the world into intellect/nature, subject/object, heaven/hell and of course man/woman. Eurydice doesn’t want to leave Hades, doesn’t want to go back to her old life as the trophy wife of the great singer Orpheus. Exposing herself to the male gaze might have been exciting at times, but she knows what game was being played. The binary model has been a straightjacket for a long time – and not just for non-binary people.

Life after the myth?

People are free to do what they want. But they live in a society that’s constantly demanding images of them as well as different interpretations. We need to crack these codes and understand what they’re doing to us. That’s the only way that we can free ourselves of them. But then we’re already in the theatre …

Production Team

Photos ©theaterpunkt

Production rights granted by Rowohlt Theater Verlag

Artwork by 3007/Eva Dranaz

Supported by

Supported by the Cultural Affairs Department of the City of Vienna (MA7), Federal Ministry of European and International Affairs BMEIA, Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, Civil Service and Sport BMKÖS