It's the first day of the summer holidays. The pupils have received their school reports and six weeks of freedom lie ahead of them. The market square of the small town flashes in the east wind, and plastic chairs wait outside the Italian ice cream parlour. The summer is pleasantly warm, the promise of growing up is in the air. There is not much to do here except eat ice cream, listen to or make music, crack jokes, play badminton, ride a bike, practise somersaults. Some have jobs to do, others might want to become a couple. The atmosphere is somewhere between boredom and a still faltering desire for the future.

Das Tierreich is a panorama of growing up. The collective narrative of a summer by a group of young people and an entertaining series of many scenes in changing constellations. For the 21 young people it is about politics and philosophy, about love, revenge, envy. When fate strikes - here in the form of a Leopard II tank falling onto the school (!) and a momentous car accident, the light-heartedness of summer is put to the test. And, oh yes: the near-main character is a chinchilla. Who it belongs to, who misses it, where it goes and who is to blame, and whether or not this then comes out, are not insignificant parts of this summer.

Das Tierreich by Jakob Nolte and Michel Decar offers many characters and plenty of material for the eleven drama students of the Folkwang University of the Arts, and yet it is anything but a youth play. The authors grew up in small West German towns at the end of the 1980s. Their play was awarded the Brothers Grimm Prize of the State of Berlin in 2013 and nominated for the Authors' Prize of the Heidelberg Stückemarkt 2014.

The production at the Kammerspiele is by the renowned director Friederike Heller, who has worked at the Staatsschauspiel Dresden, Burgtheater Wien, Schauspiel Hannover and Schaubühne Berlin, among others. This is her first production at the Schauspielhaus Bochum.

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  • CBplayer 1.2.4
00:00 / 00:00
Friederike Heller about Das Tierreich
  • Premiere: 04.03.2023
Co-produktion with the Folkwang University of the Arts