• Interview: Thomas Smetryns – English without Pain

    Interview: Thomas Smetryns – English without Pain

    Originally published on Asymptote Journal.  Belgian composer Thomas Smetryns has written one third of Triptych, a new opera commissioned and created by Opera Erratica. His piece uses English language learning records L’anglais sans peine from 1950s France as the basis for an absurdist comedy. How did you come across the L’anglais sans peine records? I…

  • Review: Beauty and the Beast

    Review: Beauty and the Beast

    Beauty and the Beast Improbable and 1ofUs Dir. Phelim McDermott Young Vic, London, 4th-21st December Beauty and the Beast is the first co-production between US burlesque star Julie Atlas Muz and UK actor/writer Mat Fraser. The US side seems to dominate when the two of them first walk onto the stage and begin to introduce themselves…

  • Comment: I Beg Your Pardon – A Survey of the British Perspective on German Theatre

    Originally published on Theatertreffen-Blog 2015 Pretzel or Royal headgear. Andre Schurrle moving to Chelsea. How to properly translate Paddington Bear. Just a few of the highly controversial debates causing sparks to fly between the Germans and the Brits these days. Yet tonight sees the Theatertreffen premiere of Night Train, a Schauspiel Köln and 59 Productions…

  • Review: PAZZ Festival

    Mini-reviews from the PAZZ Performance Festival in Oldenburg, 20th – 29th April

  • Comment: Theatric-O-Meter

    We knew from the start that all ten of the productions invited to Theatertreffen were in some way “remarkable,“ that they had something that made them stand out in the crowd of 700 performances the jury attended over the year. But, looking back over the festival, what did the productions have in common? Here are…

  • Comment: Theatertreffen Acting Fact-File

    Comment: Theatertreffen Acting Fact-File

    The 5,000€ Alfred-Kerr-Preis for the best performance at the Theatertreffen was announced today, decided and presented by actress Nina Hoss. The prize went to Fabian Hinrichs. But how did she choose when there were so many different styles of acting treading the boards? Maybe she stole a look at my fact-file, based on some of…

  • Review: Platonov

    Review: Platonov

    The final Theatertreffen 2012 production to premiere is the black sheep of the family. All its other relatives have been and gone, throwing paint on the bare walls of their sets, chatting to their audiences and, in certain isolated incidents (that crazy Uncle Vinge), urinating on their actors. Now all of a sudden, Platonov shows…

  • Comment: The Surtitle Situation

    Comment: The Surtitle Situation

    For several years now, surtitles have featured on a number of the chosen productions at the Theatertreffen – this year three had English surtitles, whilst the French and Kinyarwanda-speaking Hate Radio and the Flemish Before Your Very Eyes necessitate German surtitles, and are both giving an extra performance with English ones as well.

  • Comment: Watching the Clock

    After the jury’s selection was announced, Theatertreffen director Yvonne Büdenhölzer named two defining features of this year’s choices: “Collective” and “Time.” Interestingly, the latter was expressed in a deliberately negative way by the festival itself: The phrase “Waste My Time” is projected against the back wall of the garden where audience members and theatre makers…

  • Review: Hate Radio

    Review: Hate Radio

    Of the five Berlin-based productions invited to the Theatertreffen this year, Hate Radio is the only one I managed to see before the festival began. Which is how I came to be in the position where I can give you an idea of what’s to be expected at the show’s Theatertreffen premiere tonight.

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