A Herzzentrum study on Hölderlin written by and starring Navid Kermani / by Jette Steckel
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The Thalia ensemble has enjoyed a collaborative working relationship and friendship with writer Navid Kermani since 2012. Across 11 collaborations so far, the whole ensemble has engaged closely with Kermani’s texts and thoughts, staging theatre in unusual venues (e.g. on a big wheel, in a mosque, in refugee accommodation and on the Reeperbahn).
As part of the Lessingtage Festival 2021, we will stage a performance at the specialist clinic at the former marzipan factory in Hamburg Bahrenfeld. The newly opened psychiatric facility offers in-patient and day care places for children, young people and adolescents. Together with patients, therapists, care staff and clinical director Professor Michael Schulte-Markwort (‘family years’), the Thalia ensemble will experiment and play with the texts and poems of Friedrich Hölderlin. Children and young souls have always connected with Hölderlin, who was always close to mental anguish.
The springboard text for this piece is Navid Kermani’s latest book, “But soon we shall be song”, a Hölderlin-edition that goes beyond the famous poem, and, aside from Hölderlin the poet, also taps into the novelist, dramatist, literary theorist, letter writer, lover, mystic and madman, exploring the whole spectrum of his achievements.


In January 2021, Child and youth psychiatry specialist clinic at the old Bahrenfeld marzipan factory