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

Today's Stream

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.

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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)


Artistic Producers
Nora Hertlein (Thalia Theater), Emma Meyer Dunér (Dramaten)


Communications, Production
Maren Dey, Claudia May, Markward Scheck (Thalia Theater), Lena Törner, Moa Forsberg, Johan Öster, Jacob Bengtsson (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

Coming up: The 2021 Programme

Music from the piece "Paradise flood/hunger/play" by "Zwei Euro Gang": Christoph Hart, Matze Pröllochs, Lia Şahin, Julia Förster

Thalia Theater, Hamburg, Germany

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)


>> More information on and photos of the play

collection of artist voices

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. 


>> More information


Dramaten, Stockholm, Sweden

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!)


>> More information on and photos of the play

Toneelhuis, Antwerp, Belgium

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


>> More information on and photos of the play

Berliner Ensemble, Berlin, Germany

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)


>> More information on and photos of the play

Teatro Stabile Torino - National Theatre, Italy

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”.


>> More information on and photos of the play

Deutsches Theater, Berlin, Germany

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.


>> More information on and photos of the play

Theatre of Nations, Moscow, Russia

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.


>> More information on and photos of the play

Teatre Lliure, Barcelona, Spain

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.


>> More information on and photos of the play

Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus, Germany

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.


>> More information on and photos of the play

L'Odéon - Théâtre de l'Europe, Paris, France

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?


>> More information on and photos of the play

Katona József Színház, Budapest, Hungary

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.



>> More information on and photos of the play

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