The Sleeping Room – Macbeth Audience Discussion

“I have lost all hope,” announced Stefan Merki as Macduff, three quarters of the way through Karin Henkel’s Macbeth. “Me too,” came the indignant response from a voice from the row behind me. Whilst not a fan of attention-seeking audience members, I was inclined to agree at this point. Witches dressed in diamante-studded figure-skating outfits, Macbeth and Banquo singing to each other, and an empty, generic house-shaped set proclaiming itself to be the “sleeping room” (Schlafender Raum), all were not completely without interest, but they left me cold. It seemed I wasn’t alone; a few soft boos accompanied the applause at the end of the show.

The Sleeping Room, Photo: Miriam Sherwood

Continue reading The Sleeping Room – Macbeth Audience Discussion

Your Day at TT (4)

Having opened the festival with their Sarah Kane trilogy, the Münchner Kammerspiele continue to set the tone at this year’s Theatertreffen with director Karin Henkel’s production of Macbeth premiering tonight at 7pm on the main stage of the Festspiele. (So it’s English playwrights setting the tone too, come to think of it.)
Henkel has four out of her five-strong cast taking on multiple roles, whilst actress Jana Schulz plays a Macbeth suffering serious shell shock. Although the production isn’t surtitled, there will be the odd English line – along with some Flemish and Swiss German, but those are for more advanced linguists.
After the show you can stalk the international cast at the after-party in the downstairs foyer – or thanks to Macbeth’s mere two-hour running time you could pop round to the Seitenbühne and catch the last performance of the 2011 Impulse Festival winner Conte d’Amour by Markus Öhrn at 9.30pm. Continue reading Your Day at TT (4)


Showcasing the ten most outstanding plays of the past season’s German-speaking theatre, Theatertreffen 2012 is set to be bigger than ever—well, certainly longer, with the average play length a bum-numbing 4 hours. Tickets for Berlin’s own version of a theatrical Greatest Hits go on sale this Saturday, April 14th.
Clearly, you need to know what you’re getting yourself in for, so read on, or don’t blame me if you wake up hungry and thirsty in the middle of the night to find that “John Gabriel Borkmanstill hasn’t finished.
This year, half of the chosen productions will be shown with English surtitles. Of course this is an exercise in multi-tasking – and make sure you’re not seated too close to the stage, or your rapid eye movements will be giving you whiplash – but nevertheless mighty helpful (NICHTSDESTOWENIGER, the German actor will scream at this point). Even Germans will be grateful in the case of Gob Squad’s “Before Your Very Eyes,” which will be performed in Dutch by very talented children. If there’s one show I’m looking forward to without hesitation, it’s this one.

Before Your Very Eyes von Gob Squad, Foto: Phile Deprez
Before Your Very Eyes von Gob Squad, Foto: Phile Deprez

Surtitles will also be there to help you through several hours of Alvis Hermanis’ painstakingly naturalistic production of Chekhov’s “Platonov” – although perhaps a glass of wine might help too. Continue reading Theatertreffentickettime