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Thorsten Lensing: Verrückt nach Trost

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  • Armin Smailovic | Felix (Devid Striesow) kitzelt seine Schwester Charlotte (Ursina Lardi) am Strand.
  • Armin Smailovic | André Jung als Orang Utan (im Hintergrund Devid Striesow, Ursina Lardi)
  • Armin Smailovic / Sebastian Blomberg als Taucher und Ursina Lardi als Oktopus.
  • Armin Smailovic | Vorne Sebastian Blomberg, Ursina Lardi, im Hintergrund André Jung und Devid Striesow
  • Armin Smailovic | Ursina Lardi, Devid Striesow
  • Armin Smailovic | André Jung, Ursina Lardi, Devid Striesow, Sebastian Blomberg
  • Armin Smailovic | Ursina Lardi, Sebastian Blomberg
  • Armin Smailovic | Sebastian Blomberg
After the successful novel adaptations of Fyodor M. Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov (Friedrich Luft Prize for the best Berlin performance in 2014) and David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest (Berlin Theatertreffen 2019), Thorsten Lensing has, for the first time, written his own play for the theater. More precisely, for his longtime companions, the actors Sebastian Blomberg, André Jung, Ursina Lardi and Devid Striesow.

The children Charlotte and Felix emerge from the sea and play as their dead parents on the beach. It's a ritual the two have been practicing for years. In memory of their parents' wild exuberance, they put sunscreen on their backs and tickle each other until they can hardly breathe. For brief moments,all sadness falls away from them. Again and again, however, the different needs of the two ten- and eleven-year-old siblings break into the game.

While the unbridled imagination of the children determines the first part of the production, the second part focuses on adult life. The siblings go their separate ways. Charlotte, as an octopus, meets a diver with a death-wish, who believes he can communicate with animals. Felix, on the other hand, tries not to get lonely, despite the physical numbness that has haunted him since the death of his parents.

The audience accompanies the characters over several decades, from childhood to old age, so that in the end they share common memories with them. In this evening of theater, the most intense reading experiences and the most intimate wishful thinking are brought to life. We encounter hungry babies in huge parking lots, injured pole vaulters, talking octopuses, divers with a death-wish, people who can't feel their own bodies, cows on slaughter day, nursing robots, and dying people waiting to pass in a nursing home. They are all driven by the fear of having lost their way and the great longing for the feeling of being properly alive.

INFORMATION ON ACCESSIBILITYThe play has a duration of 3,5 hours including a break. The audience area on the grandstand is seated. There are two wheelchair seats and two beanbag seats, which can be reserved according to availability or purchased in the online ticket shop or at the box office. For questions or more information, please contact Hannah Aldinger at or 030 27 89 00 35.

VISITOR INFORMATIONTickets reserved by phone or e-mail must be picked up at the box office at least 3 days before the booked performance. Please note our box office opening hours. (Link:

It is mandatory to wear a medical mask. Exceptions to this rule are visitors who are unable to wear a medical mask for health/physical reasons.

PRESS COMMENTSThe German director Thorsten Lensing has astonished and provoked for the past three decades, but he feels like one of theater’s best-kept secrets. A new Lensing staging is a big deal — and worth waiting for. The production is full of unpredictable developments and arresting metamorphoses. Lensing and his actors tackle serious issues with a light touch. Even while examining grief and the craving for human connection, the production lands with ease, modesty and warmth. Throughout, the actors switch fluently between registers, from emotional rawness to slapstick to absurdist comedy, in performances that are closely observed, credible and moving. (The New York Times, A.J. Goldmann)

WITH Sebastian Blomberg, André Jung, Ursina Lardi, Devid Striesow DIRECTOR Thorsten Lensing CO-DIRECTOR Benjamin Eggers-Domsky STAGE DESIGN Gordian Blumenthal, Ramun Capaul COSTUME Anette Guther DRAMATURGY Dan Kolber, Thierry Mousset SOUND DESIGN Titus Maderlechner PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT Eva-Karen Tittmann PRODUCTION + STAGE MANAGEMENT Martina Schulle TECHNICAL MANAGEMENT Dirk Lutz DIRECTOR Anne Bickert COSTAIRS Nuria Heyck, Luisa Puschendorf

A co-production between the Salzburg Festival and Thorsten Lensing with SOPHIENSÆLE, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, Kampnagel Hamburg, Theater Chur, Asphalt Festival Düsseldorf, Pumpenhaus Münster, Mousonturm Frankfurt/Main. With the kind support of the Hauptstadtkulturfonds Berlin and the City of Münster. Media partner: taz, die tageszeitung.

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