Moderate Light Fastness 2012

at the International Student Drama Festival in Sheffield

THE SUNDAY TIMES (08. July 2012) by Robert Hewison


“What all 20 productions demonstrated was the liveliness of the student theatrical imagination across the world. Two in particular showed it taking new directions. Written and directed by Richard Aczel, an Englishman who teaches at Cologne University, Moderate Light Fastness took the metaphor of people changing their relationships like wallpaper literally. Mobile wallpapered panels waltzed around the stage as the cast of five enacted a verbal and visual dance of discontented relationships.”

SPOTLIGHT (17.07.2012) by Robert Hewison


"great show … a very slick, intelligent piece … very modern … very powerful and moving" (Spotlight)

THE STAGE (26. June 2012) by Kevin Berry


International Student Drama Festival: Moderate Light Fastness


"Two couples playing out their relationships with the language of home decoration makes for sophisticated entertainment. Rarely will anyone have heard the word ‘anaglypta’ spoken with such sexual, ravenous relish as it is by Sarah Freihoff - and there are many other glowing examples. The hanging in “hanging wallpaper” is unashamedly charged with another meaning.


With each actor wielding a wallpapered screen the alternately loving/suspicious/arguing couples move in and out and around, creating spaces and surprise entrances. Sophia Leube plays the black clad other woman with a dominating charm. Then all five are suddenly old, which is quite a shock. The fun stops and thoughts of decorating are all of the past.


The central idea of home decorating references is not overly laboured, indeed it is savoured. The whole is a classy production, presented with fluid interaction, slick movement and commendable control.

(The Stage)

NOISES OFF (Festival Magazin of the ISDF)

27. June 2012


by George Want


Moderate light excellence


For all the great theatre productions that we see, there are very few that feel completely different to anything we have watched before. This is the case though with the University of Cologne’s Moderate Light Fastness, a devised [sic] piece that manages to feel both familiar and yet totally alien. It’s a wonderful, absurdist take on the entrenched domesticity of middle and old age and the destructive force of habit that comes with it.


Inherently physical, the piece is conducted like a dance. Four sections of wall on castors form the places of the play, manoeuvred in intricate patterns around the stage to the strains of a waltz. Each performer has a striking physicality and there are some bold, strong movement set-pieces.


The greatest strength of the piece though lies in the language. Two couples bicker amongst themselves and with one another, whilst a shadowy third woman lurks in the background, haunting their every move. The dialogue is incredible, almost like a dance in itself. Sentences are short, pared down to their essential components and fired back and forth amongst the characters, with the subtlest of changes each time. More astonishingly is the grasp of English displayed by the actors. German students perhaps, but their delivery of dialogue which captures the inflections, colloquialisms and nuances of modern English perfectly rivals our own as natives. […] Worth a mention too is the performative discipline that the whole piece requires. As theatrical experiences go, this rates extremely highly.



by David Ralf


“The dialogue is fast-paced, witty, and sexualized”


“The manifestation of these wallpapered lives is the triumph of this production […] The imagination on display from director Richard Aczel is highly commendable, and the grace created with smooth movement of these walls and a classical soundtrack provides a great juxtaposition to the messiness of the characters’ pairings.”


“The ensemble displaying not only an incredible command of the language but also an acute ear for delivery which never jars to a British observer.”



by William Carlisle


“Moderate Light Fastness is an incredibly well made production. Port in the Air from Germany have put together a very good, fast, slick and modern-feeling piece of theatre that feels relevant yet also doesn’t smother the audience with its message.”


“The dialogue is so fluid and the responses are so swift that one can only imagine how much time was spent in rehearsals perfecting the delivery. There are many sequences when two actors are saying the same thing and their tone of voices are so perfectly pitched to each other that it becomes almost hypnotic. […] The delivery is pitch perfect and coupled with the hilarious and downright weird dialogue, this is a thoroughly engaging performance.”


“The wall segments are used in creative and original ways and by the end you feel like the cast couldn’t have explored these props anymore than they did”


“The cast are clearly incredibly talented.”



28. June 2012


by Carly Mills


“It is refreshing to see a play about normal life performed in such an abnormal way”


“The acting is excellent”


“Funny, clever and realistic, this play is an excellent exploration of endurance and commitment in relationships.”



29. June 2012


by Molly Ward


“It was heartfelt, humorous and delivered with such sincerity”


“Port in Air created a beautiful balance between humour, vulgarity and tenderness. The performances from all were extremely engaging and I found myself sympathizing for the individuals and their relationships, something that does not always happen with a play like this, considering the bizarre and un-naturalistic way in which it is presented. The detail and control within this performance was clear to be seen, and certainly changed my view on the more arty and experimental types of theatre!”


Moderate Light Fastness 2012

at the Artheater

AKT (March 2012) by Dorothea Marcus




Port in Air im Artheater mit „Moderate Light Fastness“: ein brillant durchrastes, absurdes Beziehungsdrama über Untreue, das sich an einer Wandtapete entzündet.


Die Lover wechseln, die Tapete bleibt. Denn Abwechslung braucht man, wenn der Alltag eines Ehepaares in Belanglosigkeit untergeht. Etwa, wenn man sich nur noch über die Wandgestaltung unterhält. Königs- oder Kobaltblau?Hieroglyphen oder Pferde? Manchmal kann die Tapete zum Anfang eines erbitterten Ehestreits, mal zum Trennungsauslöser– mal auch zur taktischen Liebeserklärung werden. „With you I could hang wallpaper – forever“, seufzt die Frau ihren Ehemann an.


Zwei Paare sind auf der Bühne des Artheaters gedoppelt – oder haben sie über kreuz Affären? Jeder aus dem Beziehungsquartett trägt Rot-Schwarz und sitzt vor einem mobilen Tapetenwagen, auf den Grellgemusteres geklebt ist, während zum Sterben schöne Bachkantaten erklingen – und die Banalität der Ausgangssituation mit Höherem konfrontieren. Immer wieder durchbricht „Lulu“ (Liliana Gnap) in schwarzem Kleid oder weißem Nachthemd das Quartett, ein Eindringling, die Frau, die Neues ins Eingefahrene bringt, als Affäre, Prostituierte oder auch nur virtuelle Verführung.


Port in Air, die seit 2003 existierende Gruppe des Englischen Seminars von Regisseur und Autor Richard Aczel, hat ihr Erfolgsstück „Moderate Light Fastness“ neu bearbeitet zur (Wieder)-Premiere gebracht. 2005 wurden sie damit schon zum renommierten Edinbourgh-Fringe-Festival eingeladen. Der Text ist eine Art Gedicht, rhythmisch sicher und in brillantem Englisch rasen Sarah Freihoff, Jana Steinheuer, André Valente, Thomas Bönnen und Liliana Gnap hindurch, vollenden Sätze füreinander, wechseln Paarkonstellationen.


„Moderate Light Fastness“ schwankt zwischen Alltagsphrasen und Alliterationsdonner, trotzt durch winzige Wortveränderungen Sätzen neue Bedeutungen ab, kalauert sich durch Wortspiele von „Kommen“und „Gehen“, lässt die Beziehungsfloskeln aber auch immer wieder ins Metaphorische kippen. Wie lange ist man sich als Paar genug? Wann braucht man jemand anderen, einen „Tapetenwechsel“? Warum wird der andere langweilig,wenn man ihn lange kennt? Diese Fragen werfen die fünf Schauspieler vor ihren rollenden Tapeten souverän und witzig auf. Mal sprechen sie chorisch, mal abwechselnd, aber immer exakt und manieriert künstlich, während die so klaren, aber doch auch barock überwältigenden Bach-Kantaten darüber brausen. Die formale Strenge des Abends, der mehr an ein rezitiertes, rasantes und rhythmisches Gedicht erinnert, steht in spannendem Kontrast zu den vielschichtigen Fragen, die hier über die Liebe gestellt werden. Wann ist sie eine Falle, wie viel Abwechslung braucht sie, wie ist es mit der Wahrheit? Und letztlich ist das ja auch eine Metapher: jeder schleppt und rollt seinen eigenen Tapetenwagen im Leben eben immer mit herum und kann einfach nicht heraus aus dieser Haut.