As Sally Potter travels around the world with 'YES'
she is keeping a diary exclusively for this web site
Sign-up for Newsletter
Another Berlin

Oh Moscow

The Press Junket

In the Snow

Invitation to Armenia

Tango Ghost


The Cleaners Revenge

Gorbachev and Kissinger

Back to Diary Index

“Oh Moscow”

Why was this piece - or ‘series’ as we called it, for the performances happened over four successive weeks – called ‘Berlin’? It was about the associations of the word, I think. The Berlin of the thirties, of Christopher Isherwood, of cabaret and Brecht, the nascent shadow of fascism hovering in the air; and then, post-war, a divided city, a place with a brutally monumental wall, the site of a giant collision, east and west. So perhaps it is appropriate all these years later to be returning with a film whose subject- matter is another giant collision of ideologies.

My other experiences of Berlin include performing ‘Oh Moscow’ (a song cycle for which I wrote the lyrics and Lindsay Cooper the music) whose subject was the deeper emotional links between a divided Europe and America through the long chain of emigration. As well as touring Western Europe our group performed the piece in East Berlin and West Berlin on successive nights, just months before the wall came down.

And, earlier, ‘Thriller’ was shown in the festival and then, some years later, ‘The Gold Diggers’, which won the audience prize; interesting, because ‘The Gold Diggers’ was often considered a ‘difficult’ film. Not for the Berlin audience, though, who got it all. ‘The London Story’ showed at Berlin as well.

I am writing this at breakfast in the ‘brasserie’ of the hotel; like a photocopy of a French restaurant with bare wooden floors and the dark wooden tables and chairs you might find in a Parisian café – until you look closer and realise they are brand-new reproductions - so, like everything else in the hotel, they are facsimiles, which somehow adds to the feeling of standing on the ghost of ‘no-man’s land’.

Comment on this post

back next
Click to Enlarge

‘Oh Moscow’ treatment

Click to Enlarge


Click to Enlarge

‘The Gold Diggers’
(photo by Babette Mangolte)

Click to Enlarge

SP writing in ‘French’ brasserie

Click to Enlarge

‘The London Story’
(photo by Simon Corder)

Click to Enlarge

Text © Sally Potter. All pictures © Adventure Pictures unless otherwise indicated