No stranger to the superlative, Milo Rau is frequently dubbed the most influential, most controversial, most ambitious theatre director of the moment. His plays, films and books posit theatre and society as totally entwined: he does not only want to portray the world, but to change it. Referred to as both activism and scandal, depending on who you talk to, Rau’s work often takes the form of thoroughly researched historical re-enactments which are fundamentally democratic; his productions seek to involve and tell the stories of those who are left on the fringes. Focusing on themes such as war, genocide, hate crimes and fascism, Milo draws on the darkest, most troubling aspects of humanity. Yet his work is never without hope, always seeking to shine a light on redemptive solidarity and community. Always anticipated, usually daring and never comfortable, Rau’s productions are a contribution to a global society and politics at large. For Extra Extra issue no. 19, Milo speaks with Marijn Lems on reconstruction, deliverance and bearing witness, searching for sensual pleasures while gazing into the abyss.