Based on texts by Gertrude Steinand music by The Beach Boys / Brian Wilson, 2000
© Mario del Curto
© Mario del Curto
© Mario del Curto
© Mario del Curto
© Mario del Curto
© Mario del Curto
© Mario del Curto
© Mario del Curto
© Mario del Curto
© Mario del Curto
© Klaus Grünberg
© Klaus Grünberg
© Klaus Grünberg
© Klaus Grünberg
© Klaus Grünberg
© Klaus Grünberg
© Mario del Curto
© Mario del Curto
© Mario del Curto
© Mario del Curto
© Mario del Curto
© Mario del Curto

With Carlotta Engelkes, Marie Goyette and Yumiko Tanaka.

Directed by Heiner Goebbels
Light and stage Klaus Grünberg
Costumes Florence von Gerkan
Sound Willi Bopp

Co-produced by Theatre Vidy Lausanne with RomaEuropa, T&M-Nanterre Paris, Hamburger Schauspielhaus, Hebbeltheater Berlin

the release of the Beach Boys' 1966 album Pet Sounds was one of the seismic events of your musical youth, and if you think that God Only Knows is still the greatest pop song ever written, then Heiner Goebbels's new theatre piece will be 80 minutes of pure, unadulterated delight.

For those without direct access to that particular bag of nostalgia, it must still represent a quite remarkable achievement. Hashirigaki is a fusion of extraordinarily diverse cultural elements - the Beach Boys' songs, Japanese folk music and Gertrude Stein's mammoth novel The Making of Americans - brought together with Goebbels's characteristic alchemy.

The whole thing is presented by three women who act, sing, dance and play in a ravishing visual setting that holds the audience enchanted from the first surreal image to the last.

The piece was brought to Edinburgh for just two performances by Thétre Vidy-Lausanne, which presented the world premiere last year. The Japanese title is elusive - with connotations of running, rushing and writing fluently, it's the first word of a famous kabuki drama, and seems to encapsulate the way in which Goebbels makes his allusive mix cohere.

His starting point was not, in fact, Pet Sounds itself, but a set of CDs that emerged more recently, detailing the sessions and out-takes that went into the making of the classic LP.

The unearthly singing of the Beach Boys is never heard in Hashirigaki, but the backing tracks haunt the sculpted soundscape, in which the theremin, an early electronic instrument used on Pet Sounds and then immortalised by the same band on Good Vibrations, plays an important role.

The yearning opening of God Only Knows launches a series of Stein's typically opaque fables, delivered with wonderful deadpan seriousness; Don't Talk becomes a song-and-dance number as the women don outrageous wigs and turn themselves into a Ronettes-style trio; I Just Wasn't Made For These Times is the essence of the lingering, intensely poetic epilogue.

The Japanese folk numbers provide the cool counterweight but, as remarkable koto player Yumiko Tanaka shows, that soundworld can metamorphose into a fine replica of bluegrass music in an instance. Cultural boundaries - between east and west, popular culture and high art - are dissolved.

Everything becomes part of a unique dramatic world, in which the array of arresting gestures and movements - akin to Robert Wilson's theatre, but with gentle, affectionate wit replacing his tendentiousness - knits everything together. The three performers (Tanaka, Swedish singer and dancer Charlotte Engelkes and Canadian pianist Marie Goyette) are extraordinary in their versatility and poise, and have been signed up to bring the show to London's Barbican before too long.


Dramaturgies et composition dans le théâtre musical contemporain (Article, fr)
2020, Fanny Holland

Dreams of a New Frontier: Mapping Gertrude Stein’s Twenty-first Century Identity on a Global Stage (Article, en)
2005, Leslie Durham

Pure satisfaction (Review, en)
9 October 2004, Janusz R. Kowalczyk, Rzeczpospolita

Hashirigaki (Review, en)
10 January 2004, John Shand, The Sydney Morning Herald

True Fluency In a Language Newly Made (Review, en)
21 March 2003, Bruce Weber, The New York Times

From Ear to Eternity (Review, en)
Hashirigaki by Heiner Goebbels
21 March 2003, Tom Sellar, Village Voice

Fischzug im Meer der Muster (Review, de)
Bilderrätsel-Theater: "Hashirigaki" von Heiner Goebbels im Frankfurter Schauspiel: Mit Gertrude Stein und den Beach Boys unterwegs von Kalifornien nach Japan
31 December 2002, Stefan Benz, Darmstädter Echo

Aus Instrumenten eine Stadt gezaubert (Review, de)
Heiner Goebbels zeigt sein Musiktheaterstück "Hashirigaki" im Schauspiel Frankfurt
31 December 2002, Gerald Siegmund, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Hashirigaki (Review, en)
21 November 2002, Tom Servic, The Guardian

Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival - Huddersfield Various venues. (Review, en)
January 2002, Andy Hamilton, The Wire

The year in classical music (Review, en)
21 December 2001, Andrew Clements, The Guardian

Hashirigaki (Review, en)
Rating *****
28 August 2001, Andrew Clements, The Guardian

Agressionsfrei (Review, de)
Moskau grüßt Heiner Goebbels: "Hashirigaki" begeisterte im Mossowjet-Theater das Publikum
26 May 2001, Kerstin Holm, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Heiner Machine (Review, fr)
Le théâtre de Nanterre accueille "Hashirigaki" du musicien et metteur en scène Heiner Goebbels. Gertrude Stein croise les Beach Boys dans un opéra multimédia sur la dépression pas triste du tout.
8 March 2001, Eric Dahan, La Liberation

Hashirigaki: High-Tech-Skizzen (Review, de)
8 March 2001, Eric Dahan, La Liberation

"Un spectacle ouvert à l'interprétation" (Interview, fr)
Comment Heiner Goebbels a conçu "Hashirigaki"
8 March 2001, La Liberation

"Ein Stück, offen für Interpretation" (Interview, de)
Wie Heiner Goebbels "Hashirigaki" versteht.
8 March 2001, La Liberation

Für Männerhände viel zu schade (Review, de)
Heiner Goebbels bringt Japan und Gertrude Stein nebst drei Performerinnen in einen musikalischtheatralischen Zusammenhang - "Hashirigaki"
12/2000, Dietrich Diederichsen, Theater Heute

Untitled (Review, de)
29 October 2000, Der Tagesspiegel

Drei Frauen mit Geheimnissen (Review, de)
"Hashigaraki", Das 2000 in Lausanne uraufgeführte Stück von Heiner Goebbels gastiert am Berliner Hebbel-Theater.
27 October 2000, Gregor Dotzauer, Der Tagesspiegel

Untitled (Review, en)
25 October 2000, Ralph Hammerthaler, Süddeutsche Zeitung

Untitled (Review, de)
25 October 2000, Süddeutsche Zeitung

A theatre for the eyes, ears and nose (Review, en)
Texts of Gertrud Stein and music by Brian Wilson: " Hashirigaki " filled the audience with enthusiasm.
23 October 2000, Friede Karl, Hamburger Morgenpost

Bizarre, bildstarke west-östliche Traumreise (Review, de)
23 October 2000, Gießener Allgemeine

Untitled (Review, de)
23 October 2000, Hamburger Abendblatt

Untitled (Review, de)
23 October 2000, Hamburger Morgenpost

Untitled (Review, de)
23 October 2000, Die Welt

Hashirigaki: Gertrude Stein meets Beach Boys (Interview, de)
Heiner Goebbels über sein neues Stück.
20 October 2000, Tom F. Schulz, Die Welt

The cheerful lightness of "Hashirigaki" (Review, en)
11 October 2000, Rossella Fabiani, La Stampa

The sound adventure (Review, en)
"Hashirigaki", the last creation of Heiner Goebbels
3 October 2000, Mario Gamba, Il Manifesto

L'Allemand Heiner Goebbels sème de merveilleux mirages sur le plateau de Vidy (Review, fr)
Le compositeur et homme de théâtre revient à Lausanne, où il avait présenté ces dernières saisons "Max Black" et "La Reprise". Il y signe "Hashirigaki", un petit bonheur artistique.
21 September 2000, Alexandre Demidoff, Le Temps

Excerpts from the textbook (Material, en)
1 January 2000

Material (de)
1 January 2000

Material (en)
1 January 2000

Past Dates

June 2010
Teatro Liceo, Salamanca (Spain)

May 2010
Teatro Liceo, Salamanca (Spain)

March 2008
Caen, Caen (France)

May 2007
Israel Festival Jerusalem, Jerusalem (Israel)

Uijeongbu Music Theatre Festival, Uijeongbu (Korea)

October 2006
International Vilnius Theatre Festival SIRENOS, Vilnius (Lithuania)

September 2006
International Vilnius Theatre Festival SIRENOS, Vilnius (Lithuania)

November 2005
Bordeaux, Bordeaux (France)

June 2005
Schauspielhaus, Zürich (Switzerland)

October 2004
Warsaw Autumn Festival, Warsaw (Poland)

January 2004
Sydney Festival, Sydney (Australia)

September 2003
Brugge, Brugge (Belgium)

March 2003
Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York (USA)

December 2002
schauspielfrankfurt, Frankfurt am Main (Germany)

November 2002
Barbican Centre, London (Great Britain)

Hongkong, Hongkong (Hong Kong)

October 2002
Los Angeles, Los Angeles (USA)

Minneapolis, Minneapolis (USA)

September 2002
Hanover, Hanover (USA)

May 2002
Istanbul International Festvial, Istanbul (Turkey)

November 2001
Contemporary Music Festival, Huddersfield (Great Britain)

August 2001
Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh (Great Britain)

June 2001
Singapore Arts Festival, Singapore (Singapore)

May 2001
Moskowita Theater, Moscow (Russian Federation)

March 2001
T&M Theatre des Amandiers (Nanterre), Paris (France)

October 2000
Hebbeltheater (now Hebbel am Ufer), Berlin (Germany)

Schauspielhaus, Hamburg (Germany)

RomaEuropa Festival, Rome (Italy)

September 2000
Théâtre Vidy, Lausanne (Switzerland)

World Premiere
Théâtre Vidy, Lausanne (Switzerland)

Related Works

Audio Play

To see something to hear something
Videoclip from Hashirigaki, 2023