International Program

Program type: International Program
Starts at: 18:00 - Tuesday, 15 December
Günter Grass

The Tin Drum

Directed by  Oliver Reese
Stage design Daniel Wollenzin
Costume design  Laura Krack
Music Adapted by  Jörg Gollasch
Photografher Birgit Hupfeld


Nico Holonics (Oskar Matzerath)


About performance:
Barely-born, Oskar Matzerath recognizes the world as an universal disaster and rejects it. Only the metal drum promised by his mother opens an acceptable perspective of survival to him: the grotesque existence as a drummer, an artist with ambivalent motivations and effects. On his third birthday, Oskar decides to stop growing, but rather to watch and play the drum. He describes the development of fascist thoughts and actions from a worm’s eye view, reporting from adultery and the progrom night, linking a personal story with history. Oskar becomes an observer and at the same time a participant in a world, where a collapse of the civilization like the Holocaust is possible. For all time of his life, Nobel Prize winner Günther Grass has felt not guilty but responsible for the crimes that have been committed in the name of the German people. “The Tin Drum“ is also an attempt to make the mechanisms of the own seduction transparent.

„The exceptional actor Nico Holonics in a virtuous Oskar-Solo” (Berliner Zeitung)
"Mr. Holonics, alone on a nearly bare stage, needs to evoke that entire unseen world, and his mesmerizing performance succeeds utterly." (New York Times)


Duration: 110 Minutes (no intermission)

Berliner Ensemble is one of the most renowned and long-standing theatres in Germany. Named after Bertolt Brecht’s world-famous company, Berliner Ensemble has written theatre history. Throughout its 125-year history, the theatre on Schiffbauerdamm has always addressed issues of current social relevance, and from the 2017/18 season, the beginning of Oliver Reese’s tenure as Artistic Director, Berliner Ensemble once again places a stronger focus on contemporary texts and topics.

In the tradition of its former Artistic Directors, Bertolt Brecht and Heiner Müller, and under its new director Oliver Reese, Berliner Ensemble directs its attention on theatre that reflects upon our present times. Beside works by Bertolt Brecht, the repertoire features current topics and contemporary plays by living authors examining the urgent issues of our times on stage. 

Apart from the acting company, a continuous cooperation with pioneering directors like Frank Castorf, Mateja Kole┼żnik, Antú Romero Nunes and director-in-residence Michael Thalheimer significantly contributes to Berliner Ensemble’s profile. Modern productions are presented, as well as innovative theatre formats.

In its largest auditorium, the neo-baroque building on Schiffbauerdamm, which celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2017, holds around 700 seats. In the 2018/19 season and after extensive reconstruction work, “Neues Haus” will be opened with a capacity of 200, and the “Werkraum” will become a venue for emerging talents and innovative artistic formats.