In this episode, we discuss the Schaubühne Berlin’s recorded productions of Hamlet and Richard III, both directed by Thomas Ostermeier and starring Lars Eidinger. The productions are in German with English subtitles, and were recently streamed on the Schaubühne’s website as part of their quarantine programming.
In this episode, we discuss the Schaubühne Berlin’s Shakespeare productions of Hamlet and Richard III — both directed by Thomas Ostermeier and starring Lars Eidinger. The discussion is primarily based on the recordings of the productions from 2009 and 2015, respectively. The productions are modern dress and in German, with modernized German dialogue, though the English subtitles reproduce Shakespeare’s text (rather than translating the modern German back into English). They also both feature a tremendous live score and boast a pared down cast of six actors.
The productions continue to play in rep at the Schaubühne and have developed considerably since the recordings and their original mountings (in 2008 and 2014, respectively). Alex Heeney saw Richard III on tour in New York City at BAM in 2017; Noemi Berkowitz saw Hamlet in Berlin in 2019. We discuss the similarities and differences between the recordings and the live stagings and recordings and how much is lost — with this kind of production, especially — in the recording process.
We discuss Ostermeier’s interpretations of the two plays, Eidinger’s performances, the problematic misogyny in both, the excitement of the improvisations, the costumes, and much more. Excerpts of the productions are available on YouTube though not always with English subtitles!
Show notes and recommended listening
- Read Alex Heeney’s review of Ostermeier’s Richard III from its NYC run.
- Find out more about Ted Witzel here.
- Noemi Berkowitz is an artistic director at the Maxim Gorki Theatre in Berlin.
- Watch other productions from the Schaubühne Berlin in their nightly stream from their archives.
Host: Alex Heeney
Guests: Noemi Berowitz, Mary Angela Rowe
Editor: Edward von Aderkis