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  • Geschwister: Unhappy families and Nazi secrets

Maxim Gorki Theater

Geschwister: Unhappy families and Nazi secrets

★★★★ Ersan Mondtag's play draws heavily from cinema, and the result is a modern masterpiece where family tensions play out in slow motion.

Photo: © Birgit Hupfeld

Ersan Mondtag’s Geschwister (Siblings) draws heavily from film, but it is without doubt a masterpiece of modern theatre with its creative black and white stage setting and use of colour to highlight particular things and time jumps.

The play is about a family with a Nazi background. After the daughter, Elisabeth, returns home from a protest and begins to eat with her insufferable family, secrets are slowly revealed, before the siblings meet again years later.

It is a highly political piece, with family tension being played out supremely in slow motion. It would have been good though to hear more about daughter Elisabeth’s rage about her family history from her own mouth.

The set itself looks like something out of Stranger Things, complete with a creepy, ticking clock. The characters rely heavily on an old radio blasting out classical music and news reports from the 1960s concerning the Shah’s visit to Berlin. Hyper realistic theatre at its best.

When you enter Gorki, a sign warns you that a smell is used in a particular scene. It’s genius, and very cleverly executed to give the audience the full experience. It’s even better than film – exactly what theatre should be about. ★★★★

  • Maxim Gorki, Mitte (with English surtitles) Aug 19