Spielzeit 26.08. - 09.10.

The Tin Drum

By Günter Grass Adapted for the stage by Armin Petras

World premiere
Stage version
8. September 2010
8., 9., 11., 12., 14., 15. September

“Oskar Matzerath, the hero of The Tin Drum by Günter Grass, can not only break glass by singing, but also deliberately halt his own growth.  Equipped with fantastic qualities, despite his increasing years he succeeds in remaining a child or in being perceived as a child.  His eye-opening infantilism exposes the abstruse world of the adults.  His drumming acts out the lunacy of contemporary history.” / Siegfried Lenz, Something about Imagination, 1988

At the age of three, Oskar Matzerath decides to stop growing and to play the drum and scream instead.  The course of his life through the twentieth century of wars, the insanity of National Socialism and the economic miracle turns into the first person narrative of an idiosyncratic ‘dwarf’, who refuses point blank to be expelled from the paradise of his childhood.  Along with the Poles, the Kashubians and the Germans, the Catholics, the Protestants and the Jews, Oskar Matzerath plays his game of refusal against a world of lies and violence.  The city of Danzig becomes the starting point for a fantastic journey where the embarrassment and pain of German history can be experienced with grotesque humour and bitter comedy.

When his novel The Tin Drum appeared in 1959, the 32 year-old Günter Grass became famous overnight.  To begin with he was deeply controversial, however, worldwide recognition had certainly been achieved by 1999 with the award of the Nobel Prize.  Armin Petras uses collective storytelling to adapt this famous novel into a dramatic oratorio for the stage.  

A co-production between the Ruhrtriennale and the Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin.
Funded by the Stiftung Pro Bochum.