The unknown neighbour

a trilogy about death.

"The Unknown Neighbour" is a theatre project about death and dying anonymously. From the estate of an "Unknown Neighbour" who died without relatives, Futur3 develops a fictional biography and tells the course of his passing in three parts. The audience experiences "The Protocol of the Last Hours" (Part 1) in the midst of his legacy, arranges his "Feast of the Dead" (Part 2) in a funeral home and fathoms his last destination in the "Cabinet of the Afterlife" (Part 3).

Together with experts and artists, Futur3 creates a trilogy whose parts tell of the repressed, the forgotten and the longed-for in different spaces and staging languages, report on dying in the city and confront us all with the question: How do we want to live - and how do we want to die?

"One is inevitably caught in a tension between the authentic testimony of a deceased person and a production that uses moments of the metaphysical."

Norbert Raffelsiefen in the Kölner Stadtanzeiger, "Was belibt vom Leben übrig" (What remains of life)

Photos + Video

The minutes of the last hours
The minutes of the last hours
The minutes of the last hours
The minutes of the last hours
The minutes of the last hours
The minutes of the last hours
altar detail1
dead island.image fixe002
water level2


Part 1: The protocol of the last hours
Date: 29.01. | 30.01. | 31.01. | 01.02.2016 - respectively 17:00 h, 19:00 h, 21:00 h
Location: ground floor right, Grafenwerthstr. 4, Cologne Sülz

Part 2: The Feast of the Dead
Date: 17.02. | 18.02. | 19.02.2016 - 8:00 pm
Location: Bestattungshaus Kuckelkorn, Zeughausstr. 28-38, Cologne Old Town North

Part 3: The Cabinet of the Afterlife
Date: 24/02 | 25/02 | 26/02/2016 - open daily from 5pm to 10pm, last admission 9:30pm.
Venue: Haus Licht, Lichtstr. (from Vogelsangerstr. first wooden gate on the left), Cologne Ehrenfeld.

About the trilogy

Part 1: The protocol of the last hours
A man died. He had no relatives. He is the unknown neighbour. Part 1 of the trilogy deals with dying. We know relatively little about it. Why does the whole organism ultimately fail? What happens at the moment of death? What thoughts and feelings do we have? In "The Protocol of the Last Hours", the audience catches up with the missed witnessing of the passing of the unknown neighbour in the midst of his remains. It becomes a secret spectator, observes agents of existence and learns how the unknown neighbour dealt with life and how he died.
The flat of the unknown neighbour becomes the interior of the dying man for the spectator. His legacies begin to tell about him. The sound artist duo Merzouga turns his legacy into a sound body and brings it to life.

Part 2: The Feast of the Dead
The unknown neighbour has died, there are no relatives to mourn him. Part 2 of the trilogy deals with saying goodbye and the process of mourning. In "The Feast of the Dead", the audience is invited to become the mourners of the unknown neighbour. Because if they don't remember him, no one will. But can we mourn someone we didn't even know? How do we actually mourn someone who has died? What is the function of mourning rituals and what role does staging play? How do we deal with farewell rituals when we don't have a procedure to follow?
In the mourning room of the Kuckelkorn funeral home, the audience creates the funeral feast for the unknown neighbour. In a play between theatre and reality, they make up for something that never happened.

Part 3: The Cabinet of the Afterlife
The unknown N "chbar has been buried. But what happens to our spirit, our consciousness, our soul after our physical death? The third part of the trilogy deals with this great uncertainty. When does life really end? Can contact be made with the unknown neighbour? What are the cultural ideas of the afterlife? Or has the old narrative of the afterlife had its day?
"The Cabinet of the Afterlife" explores these questions and makes ideas of the afterlife tangible. With the support of Andreas Maria Fohr, Futur3 creates an atmospheric associative space in a forgotten house in the middle of the city, where there are no longer any clear attributions. The viewer is confronted with areas of the unrepresentable, with empty spaces and multi-dimensional sensory deprivation. He embarks on a short hike, searches for dead bodies buzzing around and crosses over into the realm of souls.


Direction: André Erlen, Stefan H. Kraft, Boris Kahnert Video: Andreas Fohr, Composition: Merzouga, Texts: Thorsten Krämer, Jasna Mittler Project Management: Armin Leoni, Theresa Hupp Consultancy: Christoph Kuckelkorn Public Relations: Neurohr&Andrä

© A production by Futur3 - freies Theaterkollektiv Köln in cooperation with Freihandelszone - Ensemblenetzwerk Köln
Funded by:
Cultural Office of the City of Cologne, Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Fonds Darstellende Künste e.V., Kulturstiftung Matrong. With the support of GAG Immobilien AG.
A production by Futur3 - freies Theaterkollektiv Köln in cooperation with Freihandelszone - Ensemblenetzwerk Köln Big and heartfelt thanks to the staff of Hospiz St. Hedwig, the palliative care unit of the University Hospital Cologne, the mobile and inpatient hospice services in the Cologne area as well as the people who are close to death and have told us their stories.

Tags: germany / performance / theatre