Review: Betroffenheit

Betroffenheit by Electric Company Theatre is anxious, deliberate and effective. The piece opens with a shrill and maddening internal conversation between the unnamed main character and his psyche.

The story is an investigation into a traumatic life event, one which has impacted the main character’s capacity to cope and led him down a self-destructive path of despair constant re-entry into the event and crippling, inescapable addiction.

The story builds and flows moving from the harsh to the delicate. The hyperbolic and clown like madness of the scenes are a patchwork representation of our survival responses, deliberating on how we untangle chaos.


The performance is an amalgamation of dance and theatre and relies heavily on the physical representation of our inner states. The movement is overlaid with menacing beats and drums and the sound is assaulting. The performers are equipped with ability, agility and are exact in their movements. Each represents us the depths of despair and the meltdown of our attempts to cope. As a troupe they skilfully generate richness and restraint; their bodies bendable, malleable and responsible for articulating the emotional core. They are in symbiosis, articulating stress in their physical form, while retaining a critical lightness and ease in performance.


Betroffenheit is an antagonising and astonishing piece that is both innovative and sensitive. It shocks and hurts us, and through utilising all of the senses it stretches the limits of our physical form and includes us in suffering and ultimately, redemption.

Betroffenheit was perf ormed on Friday, March 3 and Saturday, March 4 as part of the Adelaide Festival

Photography: Shane Reid

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