Follow Us!

Premiere 2015, Gessnerallee Zürich

Amy Winehouse and Marilyn Monroe.
Two icons who could never meet in life, here they come together!

Development within the framework of the Premio young talent competition. Winning the first prize.

A co-production of the Gessnerallee Zurich and the Schlachthaus Theater Bern 

Further performances: Theater Roxy Basel, Les Urbaines Festival Lausanne, Theatre du Loup Geneva, Theaterspektakel Zurich, NeuNow-Festival Amsterdam

Supported by: Premio Nachwuchspreis für Theater und Tanz, Ernst Göhner Stiftung, Migros Kulturprozent, Stadt Zürich Kultur, Kanton Zürich Kultur, Burgergemeinde Bern.

Concept, text and performance: Annina Machaz and Mira Kandathil, Helping hand: Nils Amadeus Lange,

Lighting design: Peter Göhler, Technology: Micha Mathews, Production management: Miriam Walther Kohn, Kamera/Schnitt: Ari Zehnder, Janos Mehnberg, Visual Effects: Sinae Yoo

Project description

Follow us was the first performance we put on stage independently. The concept, the idea, the lyrics and the stage design we made ourselves. As performers, we interwove the myths surrounding the pop icons with our own biographies. One is sweet as sugar and vocally gifted, the other vicious and blackly painterly. Creation and destruction in one. Together so different and yet so alike. The characters are intersections between us, Annina and Mira, and the icons Amy Winehouse and Marilyn Monroe. "We are too young to be old and too old to be young. As icons, we are signs of times gone by." As female artists, we wonder what the term icon even means? What does it mean to us as ordinary mortals? In our work, we search for the superhuman of these characters, as well as the human. “Follow us” is a performative homage to two timeless stars, in a time when anyone can be a star: On stage, on TV, on YouTube, Instagram or Facebook. A performance with self-generated texts, no stringent/logical narrative, always public stage events and all kinds of modern media. Together with the audience, we engage on a cat and mouse game where the lines of reality become blurred and the universal abysses of being a star and a human being are explored. The artists are inspired in their work by their idols Christoph Schlingensief and Antonin Artaud. They also combine diverse influences from work experiences with performance art, conventional theater, film, and Indian dance styles. The result is an individual mixture that includes trash, glamour, poetry and honest directness.


For the work we also had the first experience with film sequences for the stage. We worked out a fictional interview with the stars and used that in the performance: 




Migros Newspaper:

"Great and oppressive(..)" "The performance lasts only an hour, but is so intense that the audience remains seated at the end." (Berner Zeitung) "The two distinguished themselves by an idiosyncratic as well as strong stage presence and took on the icons Marilyn Monroe and Amy Winehouse with uninhibited devotion and professionalism." 

Tagesanzeiger Schweiz:

 "A little promise for the local theater future: Destiny's Children with "Follow Us" 

Laudatio Premiocompetition:

 "It is a production that surprises, provokes, amuses, somewhat unsettles and touches through the combination of an exuberant playfulness, even playfulness, and the flashing through of a great vulnerability. And against the backdrop of the omnipresent wave of casting shows and stardom, it also contains an actuality-related urgency. The two performers are characterized by a decidedly strong stage presence and by the courage to go headlong through the wall and barefoot over pointy eggshells, respectively, in order to do their very special thing. On the one hand, this is the uninhibited devotion to trashy performance. On the other hand, they don't shy away from exposing themselves to a vulnerable physical and emotional nudity to the audience. In this combination, the intention and the ability to convey a personally colored content beyond the pure pleasure of the big and weird show becomes visible." 


"Naked facts! Two performers explore what connects them to Marilyn Monroe and Amy Winehouse. They ask what the term icon means, what star means today. There is no stringent narrative, but a lot of joy in playing. Annina Machaz and Mira Kandathil balance between the grotesque, humor and tragedy." 

Tagesanzeiger Schweiz:

"They came, played and won" 

Berner Newspaper:"

Magnificent and oppressive" "The performance lasts only an hour, but is so intense that the audience remains seated at the end."