Austrian cabaret duo Maschek with Merkel program – Munich

Some stories are no longer forgotten: those of “our” Pope Benedict, for example, as he is flown from Alitalia to “Australia” instead of “Austria” during a state visit; how he is received one day late by the then Austrian President Heinz Fischer, speaks his blessing for the “opening of the electronics fair” on the podium, and Fischer corrects him: “Electronics fair was yesterday, today is erotic fair”. The Austrians Peter Hörmanseder and Robert Stachel are indebted to the Austrians for having such false stories with real images in their heads.

They met at the University of Vienna in the mid-1990s. At that time, it was the time when new alternative radio and television stations were founded in Austria, and the two of them – at that time still together with their fellow student Ulrich Salamun – as politically committed and humorously oriented media people in the experiments. This is how “Maschek. The Viennese expression for “from behind”, which comes from Hungarian, was the title of their increasingly refined method of using their own live synchronization to completely new finds from the rich news and social media fund of the representation and self-portrayal of politicians and celebrities absurd like (to stick to Viennese terms) hilarious stories to knit. And, unlike Anglo-Saxon “mockumentaries”, to bring the whole thing live and sometimes even freely improvised on stage. You can call it a new genre of cabaret, an all-corrosive satire, as funny as it is profound, right up to the subliminal analysis of our modern media society.

Under the title “Maschek.sprech.drüber”, her goings-on was first as a multi-award-winning stage show in the Rabenhoftheater from 2002, then as a permanent feature in Alfred Dorfer’s “Donnerstalk” and since 2012 in Stermann & Grissemanns “Welcome Austria” to the brand in their homeland. And because in Austria the figures and processes are much more present in their big neighbors than the other way around, Hörmanseder and Stachel often had enough material in their quiver to present themselves in Germany; Several times they were even guests of Harald Schmidt. Angela Merkel in particular became a kind of fixed star in her programs, and so it made sense to focus on her for “export”.

The program is now a parting gift to the Chancellor

So two and a half years ago they were already putting together “Maschek makes Merkel”. “Merkel was also the perfect figure for us because we knew that and when she would stop. But at the same time, because she is one of the few who have a lasting effect,” says Hörmanseder. “Otherwise it is the case that someone is gone when he resigns. Our Chancellor Faymann, for example, was dead to us at the time of his resignation, and the audience did not care about him on the same day we played. It works So also a rare consistency: Merkel, Putin and Maschek – they stayed. Everyone else comes and goes. “

A continuity that is already played out in the program at the beginning, Merkel drives up in state carriages, so to speak, in a continuous loop. Stachel, who lived in Berlin for a year and who has always spoken and “looked after” Merkel, also knows about the changes: “At first she was much more laid out than Ossi, but then moved away from it and like many of ours Figures developed a life of their own. Now it’s ‘my’ Merkel. If conclusions are drawn about the real thing, I’m no longer responsible. “

The program premiered in the Wiener Stadtsaal in September 2019, and in spring 2020 it should go to Germany. Corona, however, had something against it and made the Munich premiere on Wednesday, September 1st, at Eulenspiegel Flying Circus A farewell present to the Chancellor in the courtyard of the Deutsches Museum. Especially since in the program between the lines – Maschek often finds the most amazing truths on a second level – benevolence can be recognized. Or, as Hörmanseder says: “You can think what you want about her in detail, but – and you can see that here in her encounters with the American presidents – Merkel has basic moral standards. And is now one of the last rocks against louder Crazy. “


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