Once upon a time in Lalling



In Rotem Weissman‘s Pop Up PRISMA, the monsters are loose. But how do you get a production from the Bavarian capital Munich into the school gym of the cozy community of Lalling in Lower Bavaria? Oskar Smollny accompanied Rotem Weissman, Jin Lee and Jihun Choi together with their producer Lara Schubert to the countryside and captured the adventure with his camera. Shows at 8 o’clock in the morning? Okay, but first: coffee!

Photographs by Oskar Smollny. Text by Lara Schubert | 19. August 2023

Routine and being wild


The tranquil town has accommodated its guests in the Gasthof zur Post and, to everyone’s delight, the school where PRISMA will be shown the next morning is only a five-minute walk away. For lunch there is currywurst and then it’s off to the gymnasium of the Lalling elementary school.

The set-up of the play is already routine. Rotem and Jin tape the playing area with green and yellow neon tape and Nada and Lara carry gym mats in front of the improvised stage so that the little spectator monsters have something to sit on. The monsters have never been able to keep themselves from throwing themselves onto the mats with glee and laughing a lot.

Meanwhile, photographer Oskar fights his way further and further south from the far north. The winding rails bring him to Lalling just two hours late.

Monsters on Tour


On a beautiful summer morning in July, two dancer monsters and their monster manager set off for Lower Bavaria. On the way there, the third monster still has to be picked up from the airport. With the team complete they continue towards the small town of Lalling. The monsters listen to music and have their hair blown around with the windows open.

In the evening, everyone gathers in the beer garden of the inn. All strengthen themselves with rustic Lower Bavarian cuisine and delicious beer. It is a balmy summer evening and it is the only occupied beer table in the garden, there is much to talk about. Everyone stays seated until it gets dark all around.

Shows in schools start early. The monsters roll out of bed, have a quick coffee and walk together to the elementary school in Lalling. A 1st grade and a 4th grade will see PRISMA for the first time today. The mood is tense. Before the performance, the monsters warm up and concentrate, but when the little audience monsters arrive, they dance full of joy, even more so because the little audience monsters are so happy.

Tired monsters


Two performances later, the neon tape is peeled back off the floor, the mats are put away, and the costumes are packed away again. It’s 12 o’clock and it feels like a whole day has already passed.

After a farewell photo, the three monsters drive back to Munich together with the monster manager. Everyone is exhausted. The windows stay closed and the music stays quiet this time around, because the three monsters have curled up and are taking a little nap.