Theatre: Two Pigeons Perching on a Bench

The Kasemattentheater proposed an original journey from bird’s observations to digital survey – Claire Thill’s play asks the right questions without overwhelming the public with too heavy or intellectual answers.

It’s all about observation: the structure of “Two Pigeons Perching on a Bench” is built around the diary of a pigeon’s day wandering and flying around the streets of Luxembourg-City. And of course – we never really doubted it – pigeons do have a sense of humour when describing the humans they see and their sometimes odd behaviour, as for example their obsession with their silvery screens they can’t stop looking at.

The infatuation with smartphones, the panopticon of the internet soon becomes a metaphor of the bird’s flight over the town, and screens on stage reflect the information retrieved by every single phrase said or even attitude shown. The public and the doves become reflecting mirrors in which they enter a sort of never-ending loop – showing up the absurdity and dangers of everyday data collection in combination with humanity’s love for self-representation.

All this doesn’t make “Two Pigeons Perching on a Bench” your typical, moralistic anti-internet play, telling you to switch off your phones and crawl back into Mother Nature’s warm womb. On the contrary: the play shows the distance we have already taken from a society not based on information and allows everyone to come to their own conclusions.

In addition to the theme, we can’t let the performers unmentioned: Catherine Elsen and Feyesa Wakjira bring the ideas of playwright and director Claire Thill to life, even under their rather uncomfortable masks, and the soundscape created by François Martig finds an equilibrium between funny street-recorded bits and futuristic sounds. All in all a pleasant evening at the theatre – a pity the play isn’t programmed for more sessions… until now.

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