May 18th Sat, 8:00 PM – 9:45 PM | S-klub


    Nicoleta Esinencu SYMPHONY OF PROGRESS teatru-spălătorie Chișinău & HAU Hebbel am Ufer Berlin


    Through real episodes, this genre-bending “theatre concert” points out the reverse side of the phenomenon of open Europe and the discrimination faced by people who long for a “better” life west of their homes. Thanks to a co-production of several venues and festivals, the unique Moldovan artistic platform is presented for the first time in the Czech Republic – under the direction of Nicoleta Esinencu. In collaboration with the Olomouc Museum of Art. Czech subtitles.

    Ticket price: 290 / 150 Kč

    Painfully good.
    Doris Meierhenrich, Berliner Zeitung 

    The Western European viewer is not required to be compassionate, but to be able to listen…
    Theater heute


    The fall of the Iron Curtain, democracy, open borders, progress, and prosperity… When Europe opened up after the fall of socialism in 1989, the countries of the former Eastern Bloc saw the future as one of prosperity.

    What is the balance today? Even after more than thirty years, the economic differences between the East and the West have not been completely levelled out. So-called “Eastern Europeans” as modernday “gastarbeiters” often come to Western European countries as cheap labour in the most precarious sectors. Their conditions are often at the border of minimum wage and beyond the limits of tolerability, dignity and sometimes even legality. Whether it is an Amazon parcel courier or a picker of cucumbers, they are united by thwarted illusions and a sense of inferiority and expendability. 

    In Symphony of Progress, Nicoleta Esinencu and teatru-spălătorie gives testimony of people who leave their homes in the hope of a better life and economic stability in the West – and who oppose inhumane treatment. With sarcastic insight, the Moldovan theatre collective has transformed their testimonies into an industrial symphony of light, sound and language, mixed right on stage by a trio of performers. Drills and saws were transformed into musical instruments by Moldovan engineering students, who themselves are eagerly waiting for a job offer from abroad.


    created by Nicoleta Esinencu, teatru-spălătorie (Artiom Zavadovsky, Doriana Talmazan, Kira Semionov, Nora Dorogan)

    technical development Iulian Lungu, Neonil Roșca
    technology Sergiu Iachimov
    artistic consultation Aenne Quiñones
    production manager Jana Penz
    technical manager (HAU Annette Becker
    sound HAU Janis Klinkhammer
    lighting HAU Lea Schneidermann 

    performers Artiom Zavadovsky, Doriana Talmazan, Kira Semionov

    premiere 13 January 2022

    Production HAU Hebbel am Ufer and teatru-spălătorie.
    Co-production FFT Düsseldorf, HELLERAU – Europäisches Zentrum der Künste Dresden.
    Funded by Hauptstadtkulturfonds.         

    The production is presented in cooperation with the Olomouc Museum of Art.

    Nicoleta Esinencu (1978) works as a playwright and director in Chișinău, Moldova, where she was born. Her plays have been translated into many languages and performed mainly in France and Germany. She sees the Eastern European region as a buffer zone between Western and Eastern culture, filled with explosiveness, violence and painful historical memory. In the monologue FUCK YOU, Eu.ro.Pa! (2005), Esinencu comes to terms with her childhood lived in a communist European country, confronting her memories with her embarrassment at a country that has changed before her eyes and in which she no longer feels at home. The play has sparked controversy in Romania and Moldova.

    In 2010, Nicoleta Esinencu co-founded teatru-spălătorie – a space for alternative political art with its own stage in Chișinău. After seven years it had to be closed and the artistic collective continues to operate without it. In their works, the artists of teatru-spălătorie create an echo for politically and socially serious, often explosive topics, such as issues of nationalism and xenophobia in A(II)Rh+, the Holocaust in Clear Story, or new forms of capitalist exploitation in Requiem for Europe (2018), Symphony of Progress (2022), and in their most recent work Playing on Nerves (2023).
    For her engaged work, Esinencu and the teatru-spălătorie collective have been awarded the Tabori Award International 2022 – Germany’s highest distinction for independent theatre.

    As politically-oriented and difficult as the topics are, they are nonetheless told in an intimate and undogmatic way. The actors present the stories so pointedly that the audience cannot be sure whether the story is fiction or autobiographical. The resulting uncertainty lies between the personal material and the body of the performer on the stage, and creates a tremendously powerful tension, leaving the audience with the passionate, emotional stories well after the performance has ended, reads the opinion of the jury, which last year awarded Esinencu the most prestigious award in independent theatre in Germany – the Tabori Award International 2022.  


    Interview with Nicoleta Esinencu 

    Tabori Award international 2022 – opinion of the jury


    photo Dorothea Tuch