Director Frank Heuel
Stage, Costumes Annika Ley
Research, Interviews, Communication, Asisstence Amina Yanogo
With Collectif “Qu’on sonne & Voix-ailes” (Abdelaziz Béranger Yameogo “B-ranger”, Anthony Kibsa Ouedraogo “Tony”, Leger Christian Dah “Terence”), Lazare Kabore “Koro Lazare 1er“, Philine Bührer, David Fischer, Laila Nielsen
Music Elisé Soudre, Ömer Sarıgedik
Production management Claude Guingane
Dramaturgy Frank Heuel, Collectif “Qu’on sonne & Voix-ailes” and team, Claude Guingane
Management Local International, Amina Yanago, Svenja Pauka
Public Relations Claudia Grönemeyer

19. December 2018, Ouagadougou / Burkina Faso, Espace Culturel Gambidi

Guest performance tour 2019
Bonn (Werkstattbühne des Theater Bonn)
Münster (Theater im Pumpenhaus)
Bochum (Prinz Regent Theater)
Berlin (Theater Discounter)
Leipzig (Schaubühne Lindenfels)

The fringe ensemble realized two projects with Espace Culturel Gambidi, Burkina Faso and Theater Bonn about the fascination and power of gold. L’OR sheds light on the importance of mineral wealth for the people who risk their livelihoods in one of the poorest countries in the gold rush. GOLD reflects the theme in a saturated society. In exchange, the pieces reveal, from the point of view of the three partners, two sides of the same coin and can be read as a parable of the relationship between the 1st and 3rd worlds. The project is funded by the Fonds Doppelpass + of the German Federal Cultural Foundation.

Gold is the most sought-after of all precious metals. It has natural beauty and stable value. It has always exerted a magical fascination on people. To those who have none of it, it promises the end of all worries, security, future, yes: freedom. Those who already have it strive for more. The rush for gold carries the danger of falling, of dependence, of losing one’s grip on the ground – both ideally and materially.

Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world and at the same time one of the most important gold producers in Africa. Here, the consequences of the gold rush are obvious: while young people and men dig and mine at the risk of their lives, the country goes to the dogs: agricultural land is left to itself or destroyed by digging, drinking water is contaminated by mercury. When relevant gold is found, large foreign corporations buy the rights to the mines and turn the gold into an export product from which only they profit.

In capitalist countries, gold is a status symbol, a safe investment in uncertain times. It is hoarded, shifted, invested. Greed and power seem inextricably linked here.

Frank Heuel, Annika Ley, David Fischer, Laila Nielsen and Philine Bührer traveled to Burkina Faso in November 2018. There, under the direction of Frank Heuel, the play BIRLLANTE SALETÉ was created with German and Burkinabe actors and musicians from the Collectif Qu’on sonne & Voix-ailes, based at the Espace Culturel Gambidi. Interviews with people whose lives are determined by the search for gold and its consequences formed the basis for the play development in the German-Burkinabe team. In spring 2019, the play was seen in Bonn, Münster, Bochum and Berlin.

What does the “gold rush” mean for the country’s society, politics and ecology? And what social dislocations and conflicts does it lead to? The publishing house Theater der Zeit will release a documentary in the series Recherchen, which documents the intercultural work process, explores the questions and condenses them into images and stories about gold and greed, addiction and crash and the promise of a “golden future”.

In early summer 2019, work began on the German Gold project in collaboration with Theater Bonn. The public start was a kind of city staging, an event in public space. Afterwards, Frank Heuel and his team developed the German gold play titled “Lieber Gold im Mund als Porzellan im Safe” (Better gold in your mouth than porcelain in your safe), which premiered on the workshop stage of Theater Bonn in December 2019.

Due to the pandemic, this second gold production could not travel to Burkina Faso. For this, the team developed a version that was realized with scenes filmed in Burkina Faso by the German team and with the ensemble there.

Photos of the German premiere ©Thilo Beu

Photos of the dress rehearsal and premiere

Sample photos