The Celebration (Das Fest)

by Thomas Vinterberg and Mogens Rukov
Director Anne Lenk
Musical director Leo Schmidthals
Marco Scherle
Dramaturgy David Heiligers
Premiere on January 20, 2017
Jörg PoseHelge, the father
Barbara SchnitzlerElse, the mother
Alexander KhuonChristian, the oldest son
Lisa HrdinaHelene, the daughter
Camill JammalMichael, the youngest son
Kathleen MorgeneyerMette, Michael's wife
Thorsten HierseKemal, Helene's friend
Franziska MachensPia, Christian's childhood friend
Bernd MossHelmut, the toastmaster
Jürgen HuthGrandfather
Katharina MatzGrandmother
Michael GerberUncle Leif
Damian Fink, Josefine Jellinek, Lea Metscher, Leosander Scheithauer
Helge, the father
Else, the mother
Christian, the oldest son
Helene, the daughter
Michael, the youngest son
Mette, Michael's wife
Kemal, Helene's friend
Pia, Christian's childhood friend
Helmut, the toastmaster
Grandfather
Grandmother
Uncle Leif
Damian Fink, Josefine Jellinek, Lea Metscher, Leosander Scheithauer
Märkische Oderzeitung
Irene Bazinger, 27.01.2017
In the Kammerspiele of the Deutsches Theater, the director Anne Lenk turns the audience into guests at this celebration that goes awry. At the start, you receive a glass of sparkling wine and sit in the middle of the set designed by Halina Kratochwil on tiered seats around the small stage area. The actors Keep coming to sit among the audience and address them directly.


The resulting intimacy brings the story oppressively close and increases the dramatic and emotional tension. Jörg Pose as Father is not an unsympathetic figure – on the contrary: you feel his emotion as the whole room sings him a song, and believe in his love for his family, which he constantly reiterates. At first, he refuses point-blank to remember his acts of abuse, playing the overworked manager who can’t possibly remember everything.

Alexander Khuon as Christian, his tortured son, achieves a fine balance between Anger towards his perpetrator father and the subservience of a damaged child. His revenge begins dispassionately and coldly, but escalates into angry despair when, after a few shocked seconds, the well-wishers simply carry on as before and resolutely look away. This is especially true of his mother, who knew about the rape of the twins, but did not intervene.

Barbara Schnitzler allows this obsequious, well-groomed lady to blossom in the shadow of her husband, whom she adores against her better judgement, as if butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth. Christian's revelations also open up sensitive wounds among other family members, including the daughter Helene (Lisa Hrdina), her boyfriend Kemal (Thorsten Hierse), the younger son Michael (Camill Jammal) and Christian's teenage girlfriend Pia (Franziska Machens).

Everyone, whether they like it or not, including the audience, is stuck in the same boat – with the water rising all around. The end is a relief for the family, but – and this comes across in Anne Lenk’s evocative production – atonement is hardly possible.
In the Kammerspiele of the Deutsches Theater, the director Anne Lenk turns the audience into guests at this celebration that goes awry. At the start, you receive a glass of sparkling wine and sit in the middle of the set designed by Halina Kratochwil on tiered seats around the small stage area. The actors Keep coming to sit among the audience and address them directly.


The resulting intimacy brings the story oppressively close and increases the dramatic and emotional tension. Jörg Pose as Father is not an unsympathetic figure – on the contrary: you feel his emotion as the whole room sings him a song, and believe in his love for his family, which he constantly reiterates. At first, he refuses point-blank to remember his acts of abuse, playing the overworked manager who can’t possibly remember everything.

Alexander Khuon as Christian, his tortured son, achieves a fine balance between Anger towards his perpetrator father and the subservience of a damaged child. His revenge begins dispassionately and coldly, but escalates into angry despair when, after a few shocked seconds, the well-wishers simply carry on as before and resolutely look away. This is especially true of his mother, who knew about the rape of the twins, but did not intervene.

Barbara Schnitzler allows this obsequious, well-groomed lady to blossom in the shadow of her husband, whom she adores against her better judgement, as if butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth. Christian's revelations also open up sensitive wounds among other family members, including the daughter Helene (Lisa Hrdina), her boyfriend Kemal (Thorsten Hierse), the younger son Michael (Camill Jammal) and Christian's teenage girlfriend Pia (Franziska Machens).

Everyone, whether they like it or not, including the audience, is stuck in the same boat – with the water rising all around. The end is a relief for the family, but – and this comes across in Anne Lenk’s evocative production – atonement is hardly possible.
Das Kulturblog
Konrad Kögler, 20.01.2017
Lenk and her dramaturg David Heiligers place the audience in the middle of the action of this perfectly planned family celebration which gets totally out of hand. With a free choice of seating, you might end up sitting next to Katharina Matz and Jürgen Huth, who as the grandparents smile benignly at the turmoil unfolding around them. This concept of being part of the action has been tried out several times at the Deutsches Theater, recently, for example, in ''Fathers and Sons'' and ''Downfall of the Egotist Fatzer''. But it has never been as appropriate as in this intimate play about a family gathered in a confined space, no longer able to evade the truths that have been brushed under the carpet. The second fortunate decision of this entertaining evening is that Lenk/Heiligers stay fairly close to the original text, despite taking some liberties (especially in the first half) [...]

In her faithfulness to the work, Anne Lenk succeeds in bringing an impressive drama about rape to the stage.
Lenk and her dramaturg David Heiligers place the audience in the middle of the action of this perfectly planned family celebration which gets totally out of hand. With a free choice of seating, you might end up sitting next to Katharina Matz and Jürgen Huth, who as the grandparents smile benignly at the turmoil unfolding around them. This concept of being part of the action has been tried out several times at the Deutsches Theater, recently, for example, in ''Fathers and Sons'' and ''Downfall of the Egotist Fatzer''. But it has never been as appropriate as in this intimate play about a family gathered in a confined space, no longer able to evade the truths that have been brushed under the carpet. The second fortunate decision of this entertaining evening is that Lenk/Heiligers stay fairly close to the original text, despite taking some liberties (especially in the first half) [...]

In her faithfulness to the work, Anne Lenk succeeds in bringing an impressive drama about rape to the stage.
Pagewizz
Steffen Kassel, 23.01.2017
The tension increases – and Anne Lenk pulls it off very cleverly. The youngest son Michael (Camill Jammal), for example, attacks prejudice-laden Kemal, who wonders what on earth is going on. The party is on the verge of descending into total mayhem, when to top it off, the suicide note of daughter Linda, who took her own life out of shame, turns up. Now everything is out in the open. Helge, who loved his children more than was normal, is condemned by Christian’s look alone: Khuon's eyes drill scathingly into Pose's face. The downfall of the ''big man'' is accomplished, Helge's excuses peter out and he and his wife are sent from the room. Only the old people and Uncle Leif (Michael Gerber), a relict from another age, don't understand what all the fuss is about and come to Helge's defence [...]. This is pure ensemble theatre with sharply defined characters. The actors immerse themselves completely in their roles, with no need for gratuitous shouting, crude effects and lots of props. The tension increases – and Anne Lenk pulls it off very cleverly. The youngest son Michael (Camill Jammal), for example, attacks prejudice-laden Kemal, who wonders what on earth is going on. The party is on the verge of descending into total mayhem, when to top it off, the suicide note of daughter Linda, who took her own life out of shame, turns up. Now everything is out in the open. Helge, who loved his children more than was normal, is condemned by Christian’s look alone: Khuon's eyes drill scathingly into Pose's face. The downfall of the ''big man'' is accomplished, Helge's excuses peter out and he and his wife are sent from the room. Only the old people and Uncle Leif (Michael Gerber), a relict from another age, don't understand what all the fuss is about and come to Helge's defence [...]. This is pure ensemble theatre with sharply defined characters. The actors immerse themselves completely in their roles, with no need for gratuitous shouting, crude effects and lots of props.
Der Tagesspiegel
Christine Wahl, 22.01.2017
When you go to see ''The Celebration'' in the Kammerspiele of the Deutsches Theater, you are handed a glass of sparkling wine as you go in. The cheerful, grinning master of ceremonies for the evening (Bernd Moss) also hands out light sticks, known in kids’ birthday-party Jargon as ''bendy lights'': ''You'll need it'', he says. [...]

Alexander Khuon convincingly plays the son Christian, who divulges his family's secret, and Jörg Pose is his match as repressed father Helge.
When you go to see ''The Celebration'' in the Kammerspiele of the Deutsches Theater, you are handed a glass of sparkling wine as you go in. The cheerful, grinning master of ceremonies for the evening (Bernd Moss) also hands out light sticks, known in kids’ birthday-party Jargon as ''bendy lights'': ''You'll need it'', he says. [...]

Alexander Khuon convincingly plays the son Christian, who divulges his family's secret, and Jörg Pose is his match as repressed father Helge.
Zitty
Tom Mustroph, 24.01.2017
First there’s a glass of sparkling wine, then normal wine is poured: at the DT, the members of the audience become part of the celebration [...] The oldest son Christian (Alexander Khuon) comes out with his abuse charges against his father at first haltingly, then with increasing determination.

No one listens to him. Khuon Plays the accusing son broodingly, as someone who constantly escapes into fantasies, so that even with prior knowledge of the play, you find yourself believing for a moment that Lenk might dare to present the whole drama as a figment of the imagination. A bold move, uncomfortably close to the real world, in which rapists like to discredit their victims.

At the end the audience is – shockingly – almost relieved that the accusations are true. A well-developed psychological thriller.
First there’s a glass of sparkling wine, then normal wine is poured: at the DT, the members of the audience become part of the celebration [...] The oldest son Christian (Alexander Khuon) comes out with his abuse charges against his father at first haltingly, then with increasing determination.

No one listens to him. Khuon Plays the accusing son broodingly, as someone who constantly escapes into fantasies, so that even with prior knowledge of the play, you find yourself believing for a moment that Lenk might dare to present the whole drama as a figment of the imagination. A bold move, uncomfortably close to the real world, in which rapists like to discredit their victims.

At the end the audience is – shockingly – almost relieved that the accusations are true. A well-developed psychological thriller.
Frankfurter Rundschau
Dirk Pilz, 23.01.2017
Anger, despair, fear and wrath. This production wants to grab us by the scruff of our souls, and shake us, until the truths come tumbling out: we are forced to watch, we are not allowed to hide. [...] The play tells the story of a family breakdown. Often adapted for the stage, it is based on the famous film ''The Celebration'' by Thomas Vinterberg. A father is celebrating his 60th birthday. But the oldest son Christian drops a bombshell: his father is a rapist, and his mother was in the know. The celebration implodes, and – what makes the original text impressive – it implodes in spurts, creates unexpected alliances, and leaves it unsettlingly open who is speaking the truth, who is the victim, who is the perpetrator. Anger, despair, fear and wrath. This production wants to grab us by the scruff of our souls, and shake us, until the truths come tumbling out: we are forced to watch, we are not allowed to hide. [...] The play tells the story of a family breakdown. Often adapted for the stage, it is based on the famous film ''The Celebration'' by Thomas Vinterberg. A father is celebrating his 60th birthday. But the oldest son Christian drops a bombshell: his father is a rapist, and his mother was in the know. The celebration implodes, and – what makes the original text impressive – it implodes in spurts, creates unexpected alliances, and leaves it unsettlingly open who is speaking the truth, who is the victim, who is the perpetrator.

What's on

Today23456789101112131415161718192021222324252627282930

Fette Männer im Rock

by Nicky Silver
Director: Thomas Ostermeier
DT Heimspiel Streaming
18.00