VEREIN ZUR AUFHEBUNG DES NOTWENDIGEN — a hundred wars to world peace

Verein zur Aufhebung des Notwendigen is a dinner and it is about democracy. Not democracy as institutional engineering for mass organisation, but democracy as something we internalize, as individuals, at the level of our day to day existence. It is about democracy as the realisation of our individual and collective desires.

A theatre stage, a very large frying pan, an oven, pots, knifes, sieves and all other utensils, running water, 25 ingredients, one hundred hungry audience members and a cook book. No performers.

A meal brings people together, it is warm and convivial, everybody likes it. Food is also home to our most intimate convictions, existential, ethical, aesthetic, economic, social, ritual, religious… in other words, a dinner is the perfect set for a political showdown and the kitchen is a theatre of operations.

The hundred spectators are called on stage individually, one after the other, in order to each carry out one instruction from the cook book. Once the last page of the book is reached, the meal should be ready.

In many ways, all those present in a theatre hall form a community. Here, this temporary community is given the untranslatable name of ‘Verein zur Aufhebung des Notwendigen’, the club, or association for the abolishment, or lifting, or conservation, but also transcendence of the necessary, of the indispensable.

The instructions in the cook book never tell what should be done. Each instruction asks the person carrying it out to make a decision, a difficult decision. The meal is made of a hundred of them.

Verein zur Aufhebung des Notwendigen is a theatre piece in five acts which is left entirely in the hands of its audience. No staff member, no performer ever intervenes. The scenario lays on stage, to be read and performed by the spectators – or not, but so far, they always have.


Concept & direction: Christophe Meierhans Inspired by an original idea by: Verein zur Aufhebung des Notwendigen e.V, with thanks to R. Komarnicki Dramaturgy: Bart Capelle Scenography & co-thinking: Holger Lindmüller, Michael Carstens Production: Hiros Coproduction: Kaaitheater, Vooruit, BIT theatergarasjen, BUDA, Nouveau Théâtre de Montreuil, Vaba Lava With the support of: The Flemish Government, Kunstenwerkplaats Pianofabriek A House On Fire Project, with the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union.