Lessingtage 2021 Digital: Stories from Europe
A platform of the mitos21 theatre network
Co-produced by Thalia Theater Hamburg and
Dramaten - The Royal Dramatic Theatre, Stockholm
All plays will be shown here on their respective dates from 7pm to midnight. Please refresh the page at 7pm if you have been on this site before.
Additionally most theaters provide "bonus material“ (making-of videos, introductions by the director, background information) that can also be found here on their dates from 7pm.
Find more information on the different plays under the short summary.
Click the CC-Button in the player window to (de-)activate subtitles.
You don't have to miss out asking questions.
If you are not happy about leaving our website, there's always the option to comment on the play on our website by clicking on the "more information button" under the play you want to comment and then fill in "my opinion".
Online from January 20th to January 31st, 7 – 12 pm (CET).
Make a date to “go to the theatre” together with your friends from all over Europe, and enjoy performances from across the continent, from Belgium to Russia, from Italy to Sweden, without having to care about travel and contact restrictions!
Thalia Theater Hamburg and Dramaten Stockholm, both members of the European theatre network mitos21, an association of some of the best theatres across the continent, decided to present their shows online, to give audiences all over Europe the opportunity to experience an eclectic panorama of aesthetics and styles.
This platform takes place within the frame of Thalia’s international festival Lessingtage.
For 2021, Thalia Theater had planned the festival hoping to go back to presenting international performances in Hamburg. However, the global pandemic made this impossible; since in-person encounters are impossible this season, we invite the audience to take a seat on our pan-European couch and enjoy theatre from their homes, yet still together.
The impact of the pandemic on theatres varies in different countries; some theatres have to fight for their survival, some have more security to make it through this crisis. Lessingtage 2021, therefore, is also a gesture of solidarity among the partners in the network, to showcase each other and draw attention to the different conditions under which all of them are still creating theatre for their audiences.
The participating institutions all chose their contribution to the digital festival, and are each providing audiences with a short introduction to their play. All recordings are in the original language, with English subtitles, and will be online for free, one day only per production. Thalia Theater is contributing a live-stream from our repertory which will be available for purchase.
Mattias Andersson (Dramaten), Joachim Lux (Thalia Theater)
Nora Hertlein (Thalia Theater), Emma Meyer Dunér (Dramaten)
Thanks to Iphigenia Taxopoulou (mitos21)
With productions from
Dramaten Royal Dramatic Theatre Stockholm, Sweden
L’Odéon – Théâtre de l’Europe, Paris, France
Toneelhuis, Antwerp, Belgium
Berliner Ensemble, Berlin, Germany
Teatre Lliure, Barcelona, Spain
Theatre of the Nations, Moscow, Russia
Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus, Germany
Teatro Stabile Torino - National Theatre, Italy
Deutsches Theater, Berlin, Germany
Katona József Színház, Budapest, Hungary
Thalia Theater Hamburg, Germany
Music from the piece "Paradise flood/hunger/play" by "Zwei Euro Gang": Christoph Hart, Matze Pröllochs, Lia Şahin, Julia Förster
Paradise flood/hunger/play / Paradies fluten/hungern/spielen
by Thomas Köck
Directed by Christopher Rüping
January 20th, 2021
For his ten-hour marathon production “Dionysos City”, Christopher Rüping was named Director of the Year in 2019. Beyond the European theatre scene, he is seen as “…one of Germany’s most exciting young directors, who has a flair for high-tempo productions that muscularly fuse together clever stagecraft, propulsive live music and fearless acting. In “Paradise,” Rüping combines these elements into gripping theater that pulsates with energy and purpose.“ (New York Times)
Voices of europe
Visions for a Theatre of the Future
Mattias Andersson, Simon McBurney, Guy Cassiers, Marina Davydova, Ivo van Hove, Grzegorz Jarzyna, Mateja Koležnik, Joachim Lux, Caroline Guiela Nguyen, Thomas Ostermeier, Emma Rice, Christopher Rüping, Kirill Serebrennikov, Simon Stephens
21. January 21st, 2021
A new beginning. Many artists and cultural institutions view the interruption of high-speed, routine practices as a novel opportunity. This shows the readiness to start a new chapter in Europe. For „Voices of Europe“ we gather the voices of influential artists from all over Europe, to give a glimpse into their forward-thinking work and their visions for the meaning of art in future societies.
The Idiot / Idioten
by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Directed by Mattias Andersson
January 22nd, 2021
For the 200th anniversary of Fyodor M. Dostoyevsky’s birth, Lessingtage Digital is showing two very different adaptations of his novel “The Idiot”. The director and artistic director of Dramaten, Mattias Andersson, goes first with his modern and polyphonic interpretation, in which nobody can evade their personal responsibility.
(The second production of the story comes from Moscow, in a completely different style, and can be seen on January 27!)
Antigone in Molenbeek
by Stefan Hertmans
by Kate Tempest
Directed by Guy Cassiers
January 23rd, 2021
Guy Cassiers, director and artistic director of Toneelhuis, is known for a distinctive, extremely visual theatrical idiom. Together with his actors, he creates a sensory universe, combining his great passion for literature and music with his fascination for the possibilities of visual technology. In this double-bill, Stefan Hertmans and Kate Tempest rewrote classic myths in a contemporary language and placed them in an urban context
The Caucasian Chalk Circle / Der Kaukasische Kreidekreis
by Bertolt Brecht
Directed by Michael Thalheimer
January 24th, 2021
“Stunning, the most decluttered Brecht you could wish for.” wrote the Süddeutsche Zeitung enthusiastically about Michael Thalheimer's inaugural production for Oliver Reese's directorship of Berliner Ensemble. The famous parable about justice and corruption, with which Brecht himself opened his Theater am Schiffbauerdamm in 1954, impresses above all with the leading actress Stefanie Reinsperger, who was hailed for her portrayal of Grusche as an "acting force of nature" (Der Tagesspiegel)
Right you are (if you think so) / Così è (se vi pare)
by Luigi Pirandello
Directed by Filippo Dini
January 25th, 2021
"Right you are" is one of Italy's most successful contemporary productions abroad, and was performed with great success in China as the first play by Pirandello presented in Italian. The actor and director Filippo Dini turns the comedy into a grotesque thriller, which once founded Pirandello's success as a playwright. Dini has received numerous awards for his productions, including Le Maschere del Teatro Italiano 2019 for “Right you are”.
Mary Stuart / Maria Stuart
by Friedrich Schiller
Directed by Anne Lenk
January 26th, 2021
"Yes, of course! You can do theatre even under the most adverse conditions,” says Berliner Zeitung about Anne Lenk's production, describing the pink pandemic-compatible set that Judith Oswald designed here for Schiller's queen drama. Lenk, who was invited to the Berlin Theatertreffen with her staging of “Der Menschenfeind” in 2020, makes the classic play about morality and power politics shine with her strong ensemble.
The Idiot / Идиот
based on the novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Directed by Maxim Didenko
January 27th, 2021
The second production of Dostoyevsky's “Idiot” at the festival comes from Russia in the original language, directed by Maxim Didenko, one of the most sought-after Russian theater directors of the new generation. Aesthetically, the artist takes a quite unusual path and stages the novel with only four actors as "Cirque Noir". With little dialogue, a lot of physical performance and heavy make-up, Didenko shows a new level of abstraction and comedy in dealing with the famous plot.
Una [One Woman] / Una
by Raquel Cors and Dani Lacasa
Directed by Raquel Cors
January 28th, 2021
The young director Raquel Cors was fascinated from the start by the true story of Eva Lyberten, an icon of Spanish softcore film in the 1970s and 1980s. For years she had tried to track down the actress who had meanwhile completely disappeared from the scene. UNA is now bringing her to the stage in person, in a sensitive exploration of her biography and her relationship with Franco-Spain.
An Enemy of the People / Volksfeind for Future
based on Henrik Ibsen
by Lothar Kittstein
Directed by Volker Lösch
January 29th, 2021
Isn't 18-year-old Greta Thunberg right with her clear analysis? Is the world really at a loss for answers when it comes to the future of our planet? Volker Lösch, who is known for his incorporation of amateur choirs, stages Ibsen's classic about environmental protection, power and morality together with young people from Düsseldorf and environmental activists, thus making the piece a highly topical testimony of our times.
The Sky is not a Backdrop / Il cielo non è un fondale
A performance by Daria Deflorian and Antonio Tagliarini
L'Odéon - Théâtre de l'Europe (co-producer)
January 30th, 2021
The Italian writer and director duo Daria Deflorian and Antonio Tagliarini do not stage plays. What drives them is poured into a text or a performance and served to the audience like a good meal. As masters of calm, deeply human storytelling, in “Il cielo non è un fondale” they drag us into a train of thought that could not be better suited to the situation of the world in 2021: how can we still make meaningful contact with the outside world, if we spend most of our lives indoors?
Nora – Christmas at the HelmerS’ / Nóra - Karácsony Helmeréknél
by Henrik Ibsen
Directed by Kriszta Székely
January 31st, 2021
Marriage equality has been a matter of course in most European countries for decades. In Hungary in particular, however, the government under Viktor Orbán is increasingly striving to destroy the achievements of the emancipation movement by proclaiming very conservative family views again. Ibsen’s classic “A Doll's House” is therefore highly relevant in a political context in 2021, staged by the young director Kriszta Székely.
As per usual our Lessingtage visual is designed by Stefan Marx.
Visit his Website here.