• Theater


By Stefan Kaegi [Rimini Protokoll] and ShanjuLab


  • 60 minutes

Stefan Kaegi, one of the creative minds behind Rimini Protokoll, puts an octopus on stage so we can observe its extraordinary capacities. Or are we being observed by the octopus?

This play by Stefan Kaegi puts an octopus on the stage. Yes, an octopus - that super-talented, curious and playful animal with eight arms and nine brains. Our relationship with it shapes the show, until the roles are reversed. Who’s playing with who? Who’s watching who? This is a theatrical reflection without humans at its center that plays with our tendency to recognize ourselves in and project ourselves through animals.

With the involvement of ShanjuLab - an artistic collective that lives and works with animals as a way of constantly questioning ethics - Kaegi gives us a theatrical, musical, cinematographical and documentary piece, conceived as a process of learning and exchange based on the octopus’s needs, knowledge and reactions - or perhaps our own.

Cast and crew

Concept and directed by: Stefan Kaegi | With the collaboration of: an octopus, Judith Zagury and Nathalie Küttel from ShanjuLab | Scientific consultant: Graziano Fiorito | Written by: Katja Hagedorn | Music: Stéphane Vecchione | Technique and installation: Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne | Lighting: Pierre Nicolas Moulin | Video: Oliver Vuillamy | Producer: Anouk Luthier |

A production by Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne, ShanjuLab Gimel, République Éphémère in Geneva and the Théâtre Saint-Gervais in Geneva | Coproduced by: the Antigel Festival, the Berliner Festspiele.

Stefan Kaegi


A jack-of-all-trades

This Swiss-German creator has produced documentary theater plays, radio programs and plays in urban environments. His work before Rimini Protokoll includes Mnemopark, which won awards at the Politik im Freien Theatreun Festival in 2005. He has also collaborated with the Argentine Lola Arias on pieces such as Chácara Paraíso, about the Brazilian and Argentine police; Airport Kids, about nomadic children aged between 7 and 13 and Ciudades Paralelas, the urban intervention festival. He won the European Cultural Diversity award in 2010, the jury’s award at the Sarajevo Theater Festival in 2011 for Radio Muezzin, about an Egyptian prayer group and the top award at the Belgrade Bitef Festival in 2018 for Nachlass, his play about eight people looking to end their lives.




This theatrical research laboratory focused on animals was created in 2017 by the company Shanju (made up of Judith Zagury and Shantih Breikers), given the Shanju school-workshop’s move to Gimel, a place where humans and animals live together. As a result of this cohabitation came an obsession with showing animals’ personalities, revealing their uniqueness and making their decisions visible, creating an opportunity to really get to know them through theater.

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