The Devil's Kitchen is based on the self-representation, or rather self-actualisation (the character profiles) of our four protagonists, which shape their perceptions and influence their actions. Their main goal is to do justice to (to enact sympathetically) the image that they have of themselves and that is reflected in their self-actualisations.
That these are mostly constructs, fantasies and wishful thinking that have little to do with the lived experience of our heroes, becomes clear during the course of the performance. In The Devil's Kitchen there is ultimately only one truly authentic, through and through honest figure and that is Mephisto, the devil himself.
One of the work’s central themes therefore is the field of tension between what our protagonists want to or pretend to be (conscientious, responsible, etc.) and what they really are, what life, their deeds and misdeeds, has made of them. A further, closely connected theme is our protagonists’ experience of failure, their inability to live up to their own expectations and, resulting from that, their despair and eventual breakdown.
Our heroes mostly live in the discursive bubbles of the social media. Their facebook, twitter and instagram pages define them and dynamically reflect their identities, what they 'believe' in, what they stand for. Through their respective timelines they engage with each other and communicate with their communities (our audience).
In order to reflect, in the construction of the work, the virtual reality our protagonists live in, we adopt the timeline structure, the semantics of social media, for the structuration of the work.
This allows us to meaningfully combine a multitude of texts and formats of the most varied kind. What the road does for the road movie, the timeline does for our 'net-work': it is the connecting, the supporting element that takes on the function of the storyline (or plot). The timeline, in that sense, is the story.
It also allows us to use social media creatively as a ‘canvas’ and to open up new hybrid spaces for the development and presentation of our net-work. For example, it enables us to directly involve the audience in the development of storylines via the respective timelines of our heroes and even to integrate contributions (posts) in dialogue scenes.
Only in one point do the social media pages of our heroes differ fundamentally from the profiles and timelines of everyone else: They are part of a larger whole, part of a new intermedia work, a spoken opera, a net-work in five acts. In short, they are the devil's chefs.