Theatre in Berlin

Deutsches TheaterBerlin boasts more than 50 theatres and performing spaces. The tradition stretches back to the early years of the century when three great innovative Stage Directors were working here - Erwin Piscator at the Theater am Nollendorfplatz, Max Reinhardt at the Deutsches Theater, and Berthold Brecht at the Berliner Ensemble, where he premiered the 'Drei Groschen Oper' (Three Penny Opera) in 1928. The latter has become inextricably associated with the Berlin of the 20s - a tale of big city gangsterism, featuring a stunning performance by the actress Lotte Lenya, and the song "Mack the Knife".

When the Nazis came to power in the Thirties, many actors, directors and artists fled the country - Reinhardt amongst others fled to the States, where he was to direct Mickey Rooney as Puck in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', Marlene Dietrich left for Paris. Art that didn't celebrate Aryan values was condemned by the Nazis as decadent, and since that included all the internationally respected work performed in the city, theatre in Berlin died the death.

The Fifties and Sixties saw a revival of creativity, heralded in by Brecht's resumption of work ('Mother Courage', 'Caucasian Chalk Circle'), plays like Hochhut's 'The Representative' and Handke's 'Offending The Audience', and the appearance of young actors like Otto Sander and Bruno Ganz, later to become famous through Wim Wenders' film, 'Wings of Desire'.

And once again today Berlin offers an amazing range of theatrical experiences. You can see mainstream productions Deutsches Theater, experimental work at The Volksbühne, or at Theater Kreatur which hosts the extraordinary Polish director Woron, English language plays at The Friends of the Italian Opera, or children's shows at Grips or one of the many puppet theatres.

Large scale musicals (currently Irish dance spectaculars are popular) are staged at bizarre venues throughout Berlin, like the airport Tempelhof, as well as regular theatres such as Theater des Westens. Ticket availability is good, and for a reasonable price you can see high-calibre performances from resident and visiting companies.

If you'd like us to reserve tickets for a particular event or show, or help you find what you're looking for, you only have to let us know. Choose the entertainment you are interested in the travel request form.

See list of theatre venues here.

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