The Berliner Kabarett Anstalt is where you will see the stars of Berlin's cabaret scene, with songs, music, comedy and variety.
A precious treasure from the world of cabaret has been ensconced on the fifth floor of the Mehringdamm in Berlin's Kreuzberg district since the year 1988: Yes, we are talking about the Berliner Kabarett Anstalt, or BKA Theatre for short, or - what the Berliners also fondly refer to as - the BKA.
Over the course of more than three decades, these three letters have in turn evolved into a synonym for the finest entertainment in the genres of chanson, cabaret, comedy, music and musical theatre.
A clever blend of sophisticated, quirky and political entertainment - that has been the philosophy and approach of the BKA since its founding in 1988, when "Die Enterbten" (The Disinherited)- heirs to the scattered bits of Cabaret of the West (CaDeWe) - got the ball of rolling in April 1988.
Stars of the scene and new discoveries
Since then, political and musical cabaret, off-musicals and comedy have had an equal footing alongside each other, as have new music, poetry and singer/songwriter programmes; it has panned out to be this whole kaleidoscope of current stage events, culminating into brilliant, irksome, sometimes politically incorrect, never appeasing, and sometimes even trashy productions that do not cease to be special and always keep their finger on the pulse of the times.
Discovering new talent is a notable focus of the BKA programme as are the stars leading the scene.
Beyond the traditional formats, a new, self-confident, cheeky travesty scene featuring cabaret and satirical approaches has made its mark at the BKA: since the mid-1990s, the jukebox musical productions, so-called "Neuköllnicals", by Ades Zabel & Company around the stage character Edith Schröder have also become an integral part of the programme and have grown up, so to speak, into folk theatre in the best imaginable style.
The popular improvisation theatre also has its permanent place at the BKA, since 2020 with the formation of CHAOS ROYAL: The troupe is young, musically gifted and always in direct dialogue with the audience, wowing guests both in online streams and also in a live performance.
The weekly concert series "Unerhörte Musik" (Unheard Music) with contemporary chamber music has been enriching the BKA portfolio since 1989.
The spectrum is also complemented by theatre events for children and young people.
Own productions of the BKA
The year 2016 saw the premiere of the first in-house production in many years, the off-musical "Wildes Berlin" (Wild Berlin) (based on a book by Robert Löhr, music by Wolfgang Böhmer, lyrics by Tom van Hasselt), which was followed in the year 2019 by "Zombie Berlin" (based on a book by Robert Löhr, music by Benedikt Eichhorn, lyrics by Tom van Hasselt) and in the year 2021, it passed the baton to the "Operetta for Two Gay Tenors" - composed by Florian Ludewig (music) and Johannes Kram (book & lyrics) - which was highly acclaimed by audiences and the press.
With the basic renovation of the theatre in 2013 and the expansion of the small stage at the beginning of 2019, the night stage was given a new lease of life to cater for the clubby atmosphere of the BKA foyer.
The entire programme spectrum was echoed in the festival "BKA 3.0 - at the top since 1988" on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the BKA in the jubilee year 2018, where the big stars shook hands with the standouts from the contemporary scene and the newcomers alike.
Under the direction of Uwe Berger (managing director) and Sven Ihlenfeld, the BKA team works with dedication for one of Berlin's most traditional cabaret stages - all without any government subsidies.
Among the regular artists at the BKA are:
- Ades Zabel, Biggy van Bond & Bob Schneider
- Bodo Wartke
- Wladimir Kaminer
- Sigrid Grajek
- Stefan Danziger
- Matthias Egersdörfer
- La Signora
- Robert Alan
- Sebastian 23
- Ralf König
- Miss Allie
- Daphne de Luxe
- Jurassica Parka
- Simon & Jan
Please note that all performances are in German.