On Sunday, 8 March 2020
a very special production will have its premiere at the Deutsches Theater Berlin:Decameron
based on tales from Giovanni Boccaccio, told in ten stories
Director: Kirill Serebrennikov
Co-production with the Gogol Center Moscow
The production of Decameron
originally planned for the 2018/2019 season, fell through due to the controversial criminal case against the director Kirill Serebrennikov
, who was placed under house arrest by the Russian authorities from August 2017 to April 2019. As a result, it was impossible to bring his production to the stage at the Deutsches Theater. As a sign of its solidarity with Kirill Serebrennikov, the Deutsches Theater showed his production of Who Is Happy In Russia
as a guest performance during Radar Ost
, the international prelude to the Autorentheatertage 2019
, thus also sending out a political signal on behalf of the artist, who was still banned from leaving the country at the time.
In the summer of 2019, it looked as if Kirill Serebrennikov would be able to travel to Berlin for the rehearsals of Decameron
, but there was another setback shortly afterwards. In September 2019 the news reached us that legal proceedings against him were being relaunched, creating a difficult situation for everyone involved in the production: Kirill Serebrennikov would be detained in Russia for the course of the proceedings, and the realisation of the project was again up in the air.
This led to the idea of initiating a collaboration between the Deutsches Theater Berlin and the Gogol Center Moscow to enable the play to be staged despite the difficult circumstances. Following several trips to Moscow and a series of talks, Decameron
is now being rehearsed with German and Russian actors in Moscow in January and February. There, Kirill Serebrennikov is working on the production with the Gogol Center team. Rehearsals started a few days ago. In a short final rehearsal stage in Berlin, which will be overseen by one of his closest assistants, the work will be transferred to the Deutsches Theater. Last-minute and fundamental changes of this kind to the creative process of a production are rare in theatre – especially on this scale. We are therefore all the more delighted to be able to present the premiere of Decameron
on Sunday 8 March 2020 at the Deutsches Theater Berlin and on 25 June 25 2020 at the Gogol Center Moscow.
Statement Ulrich Khuon, DT Artistic Director:"The intensive exchange of guest performances between the Gogol Center and the Deutsches Theater has led to a very fruitful artistic dialogue between Berlin and Moscow in recent years. “The Decameron”, directed by Kirill Serebrennikov, is the first work to be produced with a mixed international team and ensemble and thus marks another big step in this kind of collaboration. Serebrennikov’s directorial signature, which combines the desire for freedom of thought with the unbridled power of the body, is both empowering and challenging for the ensemble of the Deutsches Theater Berlin. We are very much looking forward to this unique adventure!
Statement Kirill Serebrennikov, director, author and head of the Gogol Center Moscow:“This project is unique in every way. For one thing, there are very few productions in which actors work together in different languages. In spoken theatre, multilingualism has always been considered an obstacle to the realisation of international projects. In our production, the German and Russian actors will perform together on stage in their respective mother tongues. For another, it is a unique work, because my theatre and I personally have received a huge amount of support from the German theatre scene and especially from the Deutsches Theater Berlin. For several years the DT team had been waiting for the opportunity to bring “Decameron” to the stage, and now, because they didn’t want to wait any longer, they decided to take the unique step of coming to Moscow to rehearse here – since I am not allowed to leave the country. It is a fascinating adventure, which I hope will end positively. We are currently having an interesting and very enjoyable time here at the Gogol Center.”