Ferdinand Vanek Award 2017 > Prgramme of the Meeting
Kathrin Röggla

Prgramme of the Meeting

Kathrin Röggla


4m, 3w

The entire play takes place during a meeting of an unspecified company. It is clear that it is an emergency meeting, because the company faces an unspecified, but serious, threat from a person everybody calls only “he”. If he spoke out and fulfilled out his promises, the consequences would be fatal. Despite the gravity of the crisis, the meeting runs in a very chaotic manner. Nobody talks to the point, the focus of attention is not the solution of situation, but quarrels about the “programme of the meeting”. It is therefore not surprising that more and more often it is the secretary Niemöller who is given the floor, as she is the one whose minutes precede reality and thus actually decides, who should say what, and who should leave the meeting. In all the empty talk, the original purpose of the meeting gets lost and the meeting cyclically repeats until it collapses inwards. It seems that the participants could continue in this way for a very, very long time. Everything goes on in a precise imitation of bureaucratic language and empty phrases. The only exception is the two long monologues by Mrs. Niemöller, in which she describes the situation in the vicinity of the building. It can be guessed that a mass catastrophe or a war conflict is taking place. In such moments the author drops the bureaucratic language and uses more poetic one.