The great world conspiracy begins as a part-time job for a cultural journalism student: Alice, played at appropriate high speed by Aysima Ergün, ends up in Yael Ronen’s and Dimitrij Schaad’s new play “Operation Mindfuck” in a troll factory thanks to the mediation of her friend Maze (Maryam Abu Khaled). She quickly proves above-average talent in the creation of extremely offbeat fake news: Finland? A Japanese invention to empty the sea and then transport the whales to Japan via the Trans-Siberian Railway disguised as Nokia products.
No wonder that the head of the troll factory, Erin, is enthusiastic and is planning big things with Alice: soon she gets the order, “Tom Hanks with 9/11, Covid-19 with the Vatican Library, George Soros with the pyramids, the World Economic Forum with pedophiles Reptiloids” – in short: to combine everything with everything to form the ultimate, global conspiracy theory.
Of course, Erin herself can look back on a very nebulous origin: Orit Nahmias plays this troll factory lady in Red as the revenant of Eris, the goddess of discord from Greek mythology, the icon of conflict with the proverbial “apple of discord” in her hand.
At the beginning of “Operation Mindfuck” she appeared to two late-adolescent boys on a mature LSD trip; one of them Kerry Wendell Tornley, the co-founder of Discordianism. (Yes, the evening also provides its small historical outline of the big topic, in cabaret fast forward.)
Director and author Yael Ronen, who has just been invited to the Theatertreffen with her major discourse musical project “Slippery Slope”, and actor Dimitrij Schaad, a former member of the Gorki ensemble, are presenting their second joint play, “Operation Mindfuck”.
After the digitization inventory “Revolution. A guide to surviving in the 21st century”, which was released in 2020 at the Thalia Theater in Hamburg, they make it their program with “Operation Mindfuck”, in the sense of the eponymous brain manipulation, as over the top as possible to close every conceivable conspiracy idea with everyone whisked together into a single “Mindfuck” that performatively presents its content itself.
To ensure that this thought-fogging grotesque staged by Ronen does not even get close to any misunderstandings of reality claims, she deliberately uses crudely humorous means – always supported by the core sentence: “People ring a bell, but not too much.”
The political advisor Maximilian de Kohler (Taner Tahintürk), who is on a second level in the play, not only utters it with relish, but he also demonstrates it in an exemplary manner. Max is looking for Germany’s next chancellor, so to speak, and finds him in a chosen idiot, whom Till Wonka shackles onto the boards: a guy who, it is said, earned early fame as the face of children’s chocolate, later going viral in connection with a talent show as a “pimmel pianist”. and eventually retired to the forest as a provincial hermit. In fact, pretty much every association from Pegida to Donald Trump to Cambridge Analytica rings a bell.