By Toshiki Okada, Director: Toshiki Okada
The word “mendokusai” in Japanese refers to something
that seems too arduous or too expensive, or something that
you cannot rouse yourself or simply do not want to do. It is
an expression frequently used in the context of statistics which
claim that more and more people under the age of forty are
having less sex. Is this lack of desire the result of systemic
failure? Are romantic relationships becoming a stress factor
because being in the rat race and its concomitant economic
insecurity no longer guarantee enough stability for emotional
committment? Or does this version of “I would prefer
not to” embody a subversive act, a Bartlebyesque refusal to
be efficient and fulfil social expectations? “No Sex and the
City” as an alternative model to the traditional family?
In 2004, the director Toshiki Okada and his group chelfitsch celebrated their first international success with the drama “5 Days in March”, in which two young people escape from the world and hide out in a love hotel, mainly to have sex for five days rather than to deal with the beginning of the Iraq war. In his third production at the Münchner Kammerspiele after “Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner and the Farewell Speech” and in the last season with “No¯ Theatre”, Toshiki Okada now reflects on listlessness in a society obsessed by lust. A sign of the times? “Mendokusai”! A play full of shame, tenderness and comedy.