Superheldinnen [Superheroines]

Superheldinnen
Director: Bérénice Hebenstreit
Writer: Bérénice Hebenstreit, Andrea Zaiser, Barbi Marković
Based on: Barbi Marković’s novel
Cast: Katharina Klar, Nadine Quittner, Seyneb Saleh
Seen on: 19.6.2017

Plot:
Every Saturday, three women come together in a Viennese café to pool their powers and send good vibes to the people who deserve and need them. They have strict rules for that which means that they’re able to keep working together, even though they couldn’t be any more different. In fact, the only things they seem to have in common are that none of them were born in Austria, and that they all have powers. But on this particular Saturday, all three of them have some kind of deviation from their usual procedure in mind.

I really enjoyed Superheldinnen. It’s an absolutely entertaining mix of bitterness and humor, has a great cast and is fun in a light, but smart way.

It’s not easy to adapt a novel into a play. I haven’t read the novel this is based on (but the play certainly inspired me to do so at some point), but there were certain passages that seemed to quote verbatim from it. That is a risky thing to do, as written language works differently than spoken language and things that work on paper can sound horrible when performed.

But in this case, the gamble pays off, as the strong and utterly charming cast instills a life in even the most novelly-sounding passages. They were generally really great, perfectly chosen for each of their characters and working perfectly together, I’d be hard-pressed to choose a favorite.

The stage desing is minimalistic, but they didn’t need more to make the story work. And what a story it is! I loved the casual presence of magic in a story that is more occupied with questions of migration and belonging or arriving somewhere than with the magic.

Most of all, though, I really liked the sense of humor that is present in even the more emotional moments and that makes the play feel so fresh and breezy even when it has important things to say. That means that the play is entertaining on the surface level, but also invites deeper thought. That’s a good combination.

Summarizing: Great fun.

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