Otto has lost his sweetheart – Jenny Holst. He is grief-stricken at having lost his one true love. His ex-girlfriend consoles him. But Otto has never actually known Jenny. She is a tragic figure who has died without any next of kin. Otto has read the death ad in the newspaper and then starts to lie about the life they could have had together. Other people take part in the lie. Why is everyone trying to steal my Jenny? Otto whispers.
The One Who Whispers, as regards both form and theme, is an examination of how words come at a price – how we can shape our life and identity through language and at the same time be trapped by the utterances we make to the world. The text has a plot with a basic idea that is simple – a lie is taken at face value, acquires its own identity
and ends up defining the self-perception of all the characters as well as their perception of each other.
Hotel Pro Forma is known for its visual and musical performances. But with The One Who Whispers we want to show how space is an active physical and psychological co-actor that underlines and amplifies the statements made in words. The actors perform on stage with strict rules on how the space is to be used, by means of which the underlying meanings of the text are revealed. The intention is to place a psychologically based dramatic narrative into a particular spatial and visual framework in order to clarify existential themes to do with human relations in the text and the narrative – the relationship between closeness and distance, isolation and the search for contact. The dialogue calls for a visual, formalized staging, one where the humorous dimension arises out of the clash between dialogue and gesture. The text balances ingeniously between humor and danger – and nothing can be taken at face value. But tragic – that
it certainly is.