What a celebration it would have been! Herbert Fritsch creates a stage show from the works of Herbert Grönemeyer, at the Schauspielhaus! Everyone’s eyes and ears were pointing at Bochum. Only seven days to go to the first night, the programme book had been printed, the posters were up, there was an art exhibition in the foyer, everything was ready to go... and then Covid-19 pulled the plug on us. Rehearsals were cancelled. The premiere postponed. Blast!

So what now? Everything is still different. HERBERT – is a big stage show, with big entrances, complete artistic freedom and above all: it’s for everyone. This is an evening that lives for and with its audience. This is not an evening for distancing rules and face and mouth coverings, for half-empty stalls, for audiences kept at a distance. This is an evening that is meant to be a celebration and it still will be one. So we’re going to wait. We’re going to wait as long as we need to before we can celebrate together again in a full house: celebrate theatre, music, art – Herbert squared!

We’re going to wait with rising anticipation for extended hits and rare lyrics that have been penned by Grönemeyer and shaped by Fritsch into new experiences of sound and song with a beating pulse of steel. Grönemeyer’s songs and lyrics as they have never been heard before. A homage to Germany’s most successful contemporary musician. A spoken opera that will flex the brain, the gut, the vocal chords, the diaphragm and the limbs. For a big chorus without an orchestra. Not so much a musical  as a viewsical, perhaps.

In earlier productions Herbert Fritsch has already applied his unique approach to artists such as Dieter Roth (Murmel Murmel), Konrad Bayer (der die mann) and Hugo Wolf (Who’s Afraid of Hugo Wolf?). Now he is going to take the next step: the work of Germany’s greatest living musician. For Herbert Grönemeyer, who has acted as a guiding spirit accompanying the rehearsals, HERBERT also marks a return to Schauspielhaus Bochum, where he started his career as a theatre musician in the 1970s. He says: “Fritsch is allowed to do anything. He can take me apart, tear me into strips, with no reverence but with humour. Long live chaos, Fritschean madness.”

We’re still keeping our finger on the pause button. But the day will come when we will switch to play again. And then it will be: heads up and dance!

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  • World Premiere