In 1917 Russia is shaken by the October Revolution. Just a few years later, socialism has been implemented. Lenin, the ringleader of the revolution, is in a dacha near Moscow battling physical and mental decay. Surrounded by a depleted inner circle, cut off from the Central Committee, he fights to retain his political influence. His companion Trotsky, cultural politician Lunacharsky and others who visit Lenin’s dacha conjure up recollections of the brief moment in history when everything seemed possible. But scheming to become his successor, his opponent Stalin is already waiting in the wings. Milo Rau and the Schaubühne Ensemble provide a unique examination of a society caught between awakening and apathy, revolutionary longing and reactionary opposition – a labyrinth of hope and fear, of political ideals and the collective experience of violence. 

The Schaubühne was founded in 1962. Since 1999 it has been led by artistic director Thomas Ostermeier. The Schaubühne premieres a minimum of ten shows per season alongside a repertoire of over 30 existing productions. Starting from the concept of an ensemble theatre – consisting of an ensemble of permanently employed actors who essentially have been working together since 1999, regularly extended by new appointments –, the actors, dramatic characters and situations of a play take centre stage at the Schaubühne.

One of the theatre’s distinctive features is a stylistic variety in approaches to directing, which includes new forms of dance and musical theatre. The search for a contemporary and experimental theatre language which focuses upon storytelling and a precise understanding of texts – both classical and contemporary – is a unifying element. The repertoire encompasses the great dramatic works of world literature alongside contemporary plays from internationally renowned writers which, with over 100 world and German premieres over the past 19 years, have been a key component of the theatre’s work.

 

ONE DAY ONLY!

This production plays on 25 April 2020. Available from 6.30pm CET until midnight.

This post was written by the author in their personal capacity.The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of The Theatre Times, their staff or collaborators.