‘In the absence of cultural continuity, collapse had occurred at a frenzied pace. It had taken place with playful ease, without conflicts or any sort of violence or protest. Even actual discussions had not taken place.’
If we held up a mirror to contemporary society, what image would come back to us? For this piece inspired by Fyodor Sologub’s novel The Petty Demon (Russia, 1905), directors Ene-Liis Semper and Tiit Ojasoo create a scenography whose power is both metaphorical and literal: the nine actors’ feet are plunged in thick mud, putting their bodies and their performances to a severe test. In this radical variation on the human condition, one cannot know the origin of the filth and the mud – is cruelty part of human nature or does evil come from the outside world?
As relationships are made and broken, and violence follows tenderness, this comic yet cruel piece draws a portrait in relief of the emotional charges tormenting Europe at the start of this twenty-first century. Without trying to analyze the conspicuous frustration in contemporary society, NO43 Filth gives a palpable and physical rendition of these “surface emotions”: these persistent, stupid and dominant moods feeding European populism today. The almost wordless story, whose imagery is in constant metamorphosis, is carried by the actors’ physical commitment and extraordinary energy: and it leaves the audience still facing the unresolved enigma of life in society.