“Berlin 1961 manages to balance the thin line between being hilariously comic and gravely serious” – Esslinger Zeitung, Germany
13th August, 1961: the day that the GDR government shuts down the border, which until then had existed as more or less a permeable line. It begins with barbed wire, but before long there is a veritable wall separating families, lovers and friends.
It presents many with impossible conflicts and decisions, forcing them into desperate and ultimately hopeless acts.
A lot of people were on holiday on that day in 1961 and came home to a city that was about to change for the next 28 years. This was the reality faced by 14 year-old Hanah Schmitt, and Berlin 1961 explores the last two weeks of the summer holiday that was to change her life forever.
Commissioned by Junges Ensemble Stuttgart (JES), Berlin 1961 deals with the first years of life immediately after the wall was built. The show combines NIEʼs artistic team and performers with members from JES, who continue to maintain the show within its repertoire.
Berlin 1961 premiered in 2009 at JES, Stuttgart and was selected for performance at the Assitej World Congress 2011 in Copenhagen and Malmo as an example of one of the best pieces of theatre for young audiences from around the world.
Director: Kjell Moberg; Co-Director: Alex Byrne; Scenographer: Julia Schiller; Production Manager: Steven Gorecki; Musical Director: David Pagan; Cast: Elisabet Topp, Tomas Mechacek, Aude Henrye, Gerd Ritter, Alexander Redwitz, Sarah Kempin.
Berlin 1961 is a co-production with Junges Ensemble Stuttgart (JES).