VOLKSBÜHNE
Berlin

Photo: Martin Waldmann

They called her Nico
Christin Nichols & Entourage Noir
02.06.
main stage

Concert

Audiovisual tour de force featuring a live band and many guests

Christa Päffgen became Nico and Nico became the icon that she never wanted to be.

Nico was the first German supermodel, she was an actress in a Fellini film, she was Andy Warhol's muse and a singer in The Velvet Underground. She had affairs with Bob Dylan, Brian Jones, Iggy Pop, Alain Delon and Jim Morrison – but does all this actually answer the question: Who was Nico?

This performance takes the audience on an eccentric, tragic, unpredictable tour de force – music, text fragments, video collages, screams and song – somewhere between yesterday, today and tomorrow, between us and Nico, between intoxication, self-destruction and the eternal longing for a way out.

In the theatrical elements of this production, Martin Waldmann poses the question of identity, determination from within and without: Deconstruction through the creation of an icon or creation of an icon through deconstruction? Who are we, and who would we be if we could be what we want? Would we be who we are now? Would we be Nico? Would Christa Päffgen have been Nico?

Perhaps Nico was a self-empowered artist, perhaps she was a fictitious character, perhaps she was just a blank canvas to be projected on like Frank Wedekind's Lulu. Nico as the sum of the collective “Fuck it all!” that we all carry within ourselves.

Nico was addicted to heroin at 20 years old. The German word for addiction (Sucht) comes from the verb “to search”. Is it about searching for identity, or is it about escaping from identity? Aren't we all criminals without papers? Always on the run until our final days.

What remains is Nico's music – a singular, dark and timeless space. A space that Christin Nichols and the musicians from Entourage Noir enter and interpret.

For Icelandic director Egill Palsson, Nico embodied something that was an essential part of his generation's attitude and is lacking today – this contempt, this “no”, this “I just don’t give a fuck”. Though his staging, Palsson poses the question: Is punk dead or is it just in rehab?

Director: Egill Palsson
Text: Martin Waldmann
Cast: Christin Nichols, Thomas Halle, Mex Schlüpfer
Guests: Wilson Gonzalez and others
Music: Entourage Noir
Synthesizer/Theremin: Jörg Schittkowski (Elektrohand Gottes / Machine de Beauvoir)
Guitar: Pegman (Herbst in Peking / Rosengarten / Me to my Wall)
Bass: Rajko Gohlke (Knorkator / Mikrowelle / Think About Mutation)
Drums/Samples: Felix Karpf (Tokamak Reaktor / FEiLE / Blenderman)

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