‘Meat-hacker’: R&D of an unknown dramatic fragment by Brecht
'Meat-hacker' [Fleischhacker] (1924-9) was Brecht's first project to explore the devastating effects of global capitalism, prompting his interest in Marxism and the development of epic theatre. Although incomplete and fragmented, this prescient text, written in broken iambic verse, offers illuminating insight into the 21st-century crisis of finance-led capitalism: its global economic risks and harrowing effects on social cohesion, urban poor as well as migrants. Scenes combine two separate narratives, juxtaposing a ruthless futures trader at Chicago's Wheat Exchange with an impoverished farming family who come to Chicago to try their luck, with both stories ending in ruin.
Our R&D at Guest Projects Space will work towards creating a coherent performance script and multi-media concept as the first stage of a production with a full artistic team of actors and designers brought together for a 4-week residency. Brecht's fractured snapshot aesthetics will be captured in a multi-media montage flickering between live scenes, digital image and video footage, inspired by visuals collected by Brecht himself and updated by our own experience as artists trying to make work in London as a world centre of finance.
The workshop of this hardly known Brecht fragment will culminate in a number of work-in-progress showings at the start of May, in order to share this unseen riveting and timely work for the first time with a UK audience. Additionally, we will offer acting workshops and a stage design participatory scheme, to explore with young people Brecht’s experimental approach in ‘Meat-hacker'.
Creative team: Joshua Gadsby, Jamie Hamilton, Phoebe von Held, Sophie Jump, Matthias Rothe, Dror Shohet.
Supported by: Guest Projects Studio, Talle Fund Grant University of Minneapolis, AHRC Grant ‘Writing Brecht’ Oxford University.