Flat viewings come talent show: attractive, successful, and equipped with a tidy bank account and a presentable partner – that’s what they look like, the tenants who are in with a chance. To get your hands on a room in a flat share, a three-bed flat in an old building in an aspirational area or even a loft above the clouds intimate details must be laid bare. Not only are applicants to hand in sound samples of their sexual activities but a certificate from a sleep lab determining the sound-level of their snoring, too. Thomas Melle
has composed a symphony of different voices: agents and journalists, average earners and wealthy heirs, those who’ve been moved on and those pushed to the margins bustle around the modern war zone, the housing market. Yelling resounds from the imaginary barricades, a choir invokes the sun to warm their own “little bed”, too.
With increasing political and economic insecurity, one’s own flat is becoming a fortress against “life’s dangers”, a promise of private happiness that must be fought for with all means. Neighbourhoods will be screened and toilet design will be styled according to life philosophy. Among supposedly socially orientated population strata the way one lives is also once again becoming a mark of distinction.
How are we to achieve this much-praised unity of our society when the desirable city centres are increasingly transforming into strongholds of luxury flats unattainable for normal citizens? “Rent is the social question of our times”, as said in the play and around which one of the present’s most urgent problems circles.