Uncanny Valley

We mostly think of robots as work machines, as efficient and precise executors of tasks. In German industry, they barely look like people, to avoid emotional complications. Unlike in Asia, where humanoid robots have already been developed for some time, for example for care-work or as sex partners. The external similarity to human beings makes the acceptance of machines easier. However, if the machine is too similar to a human, we begin to feel mistrust: what is human, what is machine? Japanese robotics researchers call this weird similarity the “uncanny valley”.

For his new play, Stefan Kaegi works with a writer and playwright for the first time: Thomas Melle allowed an animatronic double of himself to be made. This humanoid takes the author’s place and throws up questions: what does it mean for the original when the copy takes over? Does the original get to know himself better through his electronic double? Do the copy and his original compete or do they help each other?


Sat 9.07 16.00 Väike saal

Sat 9.07 21.00 Väike saal

Sun 10.07 15.00 Väike saal




In English, with Estonian translation

Duration 60 min

Concept, text and direction Stefan Kaegi; text, body and voice Thomas Melle; equipment Evi Bauer; animatronic Chiscreatures Filmeffects GmbH; manufacturing and Art Finish of the silicone head, coloration and hair Tommy Opatz; dramaturgy Martin Valdés-Stauber; video design Mikko Gaestel; music Nicolas Neecke; production management Rimini Protokoll / touring Monica Ferrari, Epona Hamdan; light design, touring Robert Läßig, Martin Schwemin, Lisa Eßwein; sound- and video design, touring Jaromir Zezula, Manuela Schininá, Nikolas Neecke; translation Mario Pulver.

This play has originally been produced by Münchner Kammerspiele; coproduction Berliner Festspiele / immersion, Donaufestival (Krems), Feodor Elutine (Moskva/Moscow), FOG Triennale Milano Performing Arts (Milano), Temporada Alta – Festival de Tado de Catalunya (Girona), SPRING Utrecht; support to Estonian performances Goethe Institute.

Performing rights: Rowohlt Theater Verlag, Reinbek bei Hamburg.