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  • Vidina Popov on newcomers, female-led venues and her new show at Maxim Gorki


Vidina Popov on newcomers, female-led venues and her new show at Maxim Gorki

Vidina Popov is back at the Gorki with Oliver Frljić's Schlachten. We sat down with the actress, dancer and singer to talk about powerful female voices in Berlin's theatre scene.

IMAGO / Andre Poling

When did you first come to Berlin?

After my first semester at drama school, the Mozarteum in Salzburg, in 2012, I decided to spend my summer in Berlin to see as much theatre as possible. That’s when I started dreaming about acting here – and I’ve been working in Berlin theatres since 2016!

What’s the best play you’ve ever seen in Berlin?

Murmel Murmel by Herbert Fritsch at the Volksbühne in 2013. It was a play that only had one spoken word – a masterpiece of theatre meets slapstick meets dance acrobatics meets rhythm meets Charlie Chaplin and Marcel Marceau meets Dadaism meets endless energy. Their artists were brilliant and fully in their element.

Vidina Popov in Dantons Death Iphigenia at Maxim Gorki Theater, directed by Oliver Frljic. Photo: IMAGO / Martin Müller

What’s your favourite piece of theatre ever?

Antigone. It was the first role I chose for my drama school auditions when I was 19. It features a female character who doesn’t allow herself to be defined by the will of a man or the state. She is a woman who follows her own beliefs after the death of her brother. Frighteningly modern.

There are no plays from Bulgarian voices in the German-speaking theatre scene.

What’s your favourite little-known theatre spot in Berlin?

The admittedly not-so-little-known Heimathafen Neukölln. It’s a mainly female-led venue with brave, diverse, individual programming.

What’s the theatre production you’re most proud of?

Sibylle Berg’s Und sicher ist mit mir die Welt verschwunden, Yael Ronen’s Slippery Slope, the revue Alles Schwindel and my solo show Am I Bulgarian?!, directed and written by me during my studies. I’ve been performing it for 10 years now; it’s my most-performed show ever and of great importance to me, as there are no plays from Bulgarian voices in the German-speaking theatre scene.

Vidina Popov in Krampus Pelz und Puderzucker at the Maxim Gorki Theater, written and directed by Isabella Sedlak. Photo: IMAGO / Martin Müller

What are you working on at the moment?

My second solo show, The Pop Off Show, inspired by my experience on a popular German talent show for singers.

What theatre production are you most looking forward to this year?

I’m looking forward to seeing Invisible Game by David Stöhr [Heimathafen Neukölln], about the illegal pushbacks at the European borders, and Ich heb’ dir die Welt aus den Angeln by Kathrin Herm [Neuköllner Oper], about German-Brazilian communist activist Olga Benario. Both directors are interesting newcomers who portray topics that we don’t know enough about.

Who is someone to watch in the future in the Berlin theatre scene?

I think the Gorki ensemble is always worth seeing!

What can people see you in during February and March?

I’ll be performing in many shows at the Gorki, but a highlight will be the premiere of Schlachten by Heiner Müller on March 25, directed by Oliver Frljić.

  • Schlachten opens March 25 at the Maxim Gorki Theatre (Am Festungsgraben 2, Mitte) tickets are available here.