Impulse Theater Festival

Cologne, Düsseldorf, Mülheim an der Ruhr

4-14 June 2020


Every year in Cologne hundreds of people are buried with no relatives present. Who were these people? Were they lonely? And can we feel close to someone who we never met? DARUM invite us to join them on an investigation that takes us out of the theatre to the cemetery in Deutz.

Tanzfaktur, Untergeschoss
Language: German

© Alexander Gotter
© Alexander Gotter
© Alexander Gotter
© Alexander Gotter

Believing that every person deserves some continued existence in fictional form, the artists have researched the lives of people who have been buried alone in Cologne: they have attended lonely funerals, knocked on doors, spoken to neighbours and examined the traces that the departed have left behind them in this world.

On the lower floor of the Tanzfaktur the audience will enter a multimedia collage made from the results of this research. Photos, notes, maps, items of furniture, songs and news reports offer some sense of the life that they are immersing themselves in. The viewers become the survivors of a person they never knew, visit a grave together and attempt rituals of farewell and of memory.

In its genuine attempt to gain a closer knowledge of someone who has died, UNGEBETENE GÄSTE repeatedly switches between reality and fiction. However, even if the evidence left behind is slight and the image of the dead person remains unclear the audience and the artists replace forgetting with an image they have created together that will continue to exist. A calm and deeply moving experience that encourages us to reflect on loneliness, death and the impenetrable nature of human existence.


Artistic Direction: DARUM (Laura Andreß, Victoria Halper, Kai Krösche)
Performance: Laura Andreß, Victoria Halper, Nora Jacobs, Kai Krösche
Design: Johannes Weckl
Music and Sound Design: Kai Krösche
Video: Victoria Halper
Vocals: Laura Andreß
Sound and Music, Audio Walk: Arthur Fussy
Contact for touring enquiries: DARUM (Laura Andreß, Victoria Halper, Kai Krösche), mail[a]


UNGEBETENE GÄSTE is a production by DARUM in co-operation with WERK X-Petersplatz (Wien). Funded by SHIFT, der Kulturabteilung der Stadt Wien as well as Bezirk Innere Stadt.

UNGEBETENE GÄSTE: KÖLN is an adapted version commissioned by the Impulse Theater Festival 2020.


The collective DARUM. Darstellende Kunst und Musik (Performing Arts and Music), founded in 2018, operates at numerous intersections between artistic disciplines. It is made up by Laura Andreß, Victoria Halper and Kai Krösche, who have operated in between independent and institutional structures in the performing arts for several years. This core team bring together expertise in numerous artistic disciplines including film and theatre direction, dramaturgy, music, literature, video and media arts, acting and performance. Der Formensuche von DARUM’s search for form is always preceded by the big question “why?” However, questions prove to be the best answers: as a result in its artistic projects DARUM attempts to fail productively in its quest for answers. UNGEBETENE GÄSTE (UNINVITED GUESTS) is DARUM’s debut performance. The performative installation ‘Ausgang: Offen’ was presented in Vienna in April 2020.

Laura Andreß studied Theatre, Film and Media Studies in Vienna. After working as an intern and assistant at several theatres, performance venues and festivals and for independent theatre productions in Vienna she completed a Masters in Dramaturgy at the HfS Ernst Busch in Berlin. In 2018 her graduation project was given its world premiere as part of the Berlin Performing Arts Festival. Laura Andreß has since worked as a freelance dramaturg and production manager (for artists including Florentina Holzinger). Her work has been presented at venues including the Volksbühne Berlin, Festspielhaus Hellerau and the Münchner Kammerspielen. In 2019 she was awarded a Starting Scholarship for the Performing Arts by the Austrian Federal Chancellor’s Office.

Victoria Halper studied Acting and Directing at the University of Toronto. She emigrated to Austria in 2010 in search of her roots in the Burgenland and worked as an Assistant Director at numerous theatres. From 2013 to 2016 she worked as a director and editor for several films including the detective story ‘Kommissar Taler’, for which she was awarded the City of Traun Prize for Culture in 2015. Since 2016 she has operated as a freelance director in an experimental field between different forms of the performing arts: contemporary circus, essay-performance, video art installations and ludification theatre in public spaces. In 2018 she was awarded a Starting Scholarship for the Performing Arts by the Austrian Federal Chancellor’s Office.

Kai Krösche is a director and musician. He studied Theatre, Film and Media Studies and Philosophy in Vienna. Since 2005 he has worked as a director, musician and video artist on his own theatre projects as well as in the fields of music, video, dramaturgy and performance at venues including Schauspiel Köln, Landestheater Niederösterreich, WUK Vienna, Volkstheater Vienna, WERK X in Vienna and HochX in Munich. As a screenwriter and director he has produced numerous short film projects since 2002. In 2018 he was awarded a Starting Scholarship for the Performing Arts by the Austrian Federal Chancellor’s Office. Between 2010 and 2016 he worked as a theatre and film critic for outlets including and the Wiener Zeitung.