Picture: Benjamin Krieg
50 Grades of Shame by She She Pop 
Picture: Benjamin Krieg
Picture: Dorothea Tuch
50 Grades of Shame by She She Pop 
Picture: Dorothea Tuch
Picture: Dorothea Tuch
50 Grades of Shame by She She Pop 
Picture: Dorothea Tuch
Picture: Dorothea Tuch
50 Grades of Shame by She She Pop 
Picture: Dorothea Tuch
Logo of the Hebbel am Ufer

She She Pop

50 Grades of Shame

A picture album inspired by Wedekind’s "Spring Awakening"

After the successful performances at HAU Hebbel am Ufer last October, She She Pop are now again showing their picture album inspired by Wedekind’s "Spring Awakening" and E.L. James’ erotic novel "50 Shades of Grey" with guests from the Berlin dance, performance and theatre scene. Based on Wedekind’s utopian models of education, the stage here serves as an educational institution and She She Pop and their guests form a faculty within it.

On two large panels onto which cross-fade images are projected, the different actors – old and young, children, women and men – are staged in a series of encounters. Through monstrous or simple presentations, and constantly shifting poses, different generations and genders, real bodies and fantastic figments expose. The experienced elderly stand next to innocent youth, or vice versa: no position is secure and nobody has reliable knowledge.

The experience of sex is constantly changing – it is historical, political, biographical, and conditioned by specific contexts. Even the most private declarations about desire, reproduction, gender specificity, and so on, are ideologies; they are smoke and mirrors, banal, dull or fictitious. Imparting knowledge is a form of penetration, just one kind of lewd sex game among many. Yet despite all these doubt and unease, sex education is still necessary. What is sex? What makes a woman a woman? What makes a man a man? What does a child know? The pan-generational teachers in "50 Grades of Shame" rise to this challenge. The performers use their bodies and their accumulated physical shame as visual material.

"50 Grades of Shame" is concerned with creating, viewing, modifying and reinterpreting imagery: images in the form of ideals and norms, images of collective and individual desire, images as concrete examples, and as pornography, caricature and subversive collage. Together with their guests, She She Pop’s performers are working on a new theatrical format. The aim is to abandon the individual limits of the body, age, gender, shame and hard-won sexual identity in order to merge into new, collective image of bodies, live on camera. Each and every one of us is naive despite all our experience, and has to teach others. Each and every one of us can imitate, parody and penetrate the other. The result is an ars erotica for the stage – a fusion of modern sex-education picture book and late medieval dance of death.

Trailer “50 Grades of Shame"
Past dates
October 2016, January 2017, May 2017, April 2018
105 Min.
She She Pop
By and with
Gundars Abolinš, Sebastian Bark, Knut Berger, Lilli Biedermann, Jean Chaize, Anna Drexler, Jonas Maria Droste, Johanna Freiburg, Fanni Halmburger, Walter Hess, Christian Löber, Lisa Lucassen, Fee Aviv Marschall, Mieke Matzke, Ilia Papatheodorou, Florian Schäfer, Susanne Scholl, Berit Stumpf, Zelal Yesilyurt, Daniel Belasco Rogers
Benjamin Krieg
Sandra Fox
Lea Søvsø
Santiago Blaum
Artistic Advise
Ruschka Steininger
Tarun Kade
Manuel Horstmann
Lighting Design
Michael Lentner
Video Assistant
Philipp Hohenwarter
Technical tour suppport
Florian Fischer, Sven Nichterlein
ehrliche arbeit - freies Kulturbüro
Tour Organisation
Tina Ebert
Company Management
Elke Weber
Aminata Oelßner
Anna Kasten (PANTHEA)
Live Translation
Ellen Gallagher (PANTHEA)
Production: She She Pop and Münchner Kammerspiele. Coproduction: HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Kampnagel Hamburg, FFT Düsseldorf, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm Frankfurt a.M. and Kyoto Experiment. Funded by Senate Department for Culture and Europe. Supported within the framework of the Alliance of International Production Houses by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Europe.