Münchner Kammerspiele, 29 September, 1922, was the premiere of “Trommeln in der Nacht” (Drums in the Night). After years of captivity, a man returns to Berlin to find the city in a state of revolution. His first stop is a visit to his former lover. There, in her parents’ living room, he finds out that his beloved has just engaged another man, a war profiteer, who will one day modernise her father’s factory. In disappointment and anger, the man joins the socialist battles taking place on the streets and becomes an important figure in the Spartacist Uprising against the conservative government. The violent occupation of the newspaper district by insurgents is imminent. At that point, his beloved comes to her senses and leaves her new fiancé to woo back her former lover. Faced with the choice between his lover and the uprising, he hesitates briefly before making a decision: he chooses to desert the insurgency and go home with his lover. After “Der Spieler”, “Hamlet” and, most recently, “Miranda July’s The First Bad Man”, Christopher Rüping, the in-house director at the Kammerspiele, stages Brecht’s story that is set in a turbulent era. The fact that the premiere took place at the Kammerspiele almost 100 years ago is no more than a footnote.
At the premiere, the protagonist chose to go with his lover and deserts his fellow insurgents. But even while Bertolt Brecht was writing this play, and throughout his life from then on, he struggled with his ending of “Trommeln in der Nacht”. Should the war veteran opt for the revolution instead of his own personal happiness? In this production, Christopher Rüping poses the question: What would have happened if...?
With English surtitles. For our seating recommendations please click here.
The version by Bertolt Brecht will be shown on: July 6
The version after Bertolt Brecht will be shown on: next season
Tip: Scroll to the bottom of the page in order to obtain the programme as PDF.