“Everything’s crazy” was the Stachelschweine’s first show in 1949, and they’re still funny now – find out for yourself!
“Dear porcupines, never get a shave!” was the admittedly “superfluous advice” that Erich Kästner wrote in the guest book in 1953. But not all the cabaret’s fans are famous authors. The Stachelschweine (which means porcupines) were founded in 1949 as the post-war political cabaret in Germany – and their programme has drawn crowds of Berliners and visitors ever since.
In 2019 the porcupines already celebrated their 70th anniversary. In the same year, artistic director and cabaret artist Frank Lüdecke and his wife Caroline Lüdecke took over the artistic direction and management of the theater. After the renovation of the theater, a new young ensemble now brings a breath of fresh air to the traditional stage.
From the bathtub to the shopping centre
The name Stachelschweine comes from a 1920s magazine published by the cabaret artist Hans Reimann, and was revived when the ensemble was founded in 1949 by Günter Pfitzmann, Horst Gabriel, Traudel Dombach, Dorle Hintze and Ilse Markgraf. They originally performed in the legendary Badewanne (“bathtub”) jazz club. After moving several times and becoming a West Berlin institution, in 1965 the Stachelschweine moved into the theatre in the basement of the Europa Center where they still perform today.
The ensemble achieved nationwide fame in the 1960s when their shows were broadcast on television. The line-up has changed over the years – but not their prickly and biting political satire. Because despite all the changes, the Stachelschweine have moved with the times, and have never lost their edge.
Cabaret & currywurst
Every year the ensemble puts on new productions, each one with a different motto: Alles irrsinnig komisch (“Everything’s crazy”) was the first in 1949. Since then there have been titles such as Ick hab noch `ne Pointe in Berlin (“I’ve still got a punchline in Berlin”) or Kabarett & Currywurst (no translation required). With energy and musical accompaniment, they examine capitalism, governments and metropolitan habits with a keen and hilarious eye.
In addition to Frank Lüdecke's ensemble program and his own solo programs, the theater also regularly hosts guest performances by well-known cabaret artists.
The theatre accommodates 331 people, either in red folding seats or at the tables in the auditorium. Afterwards, there is room for up to 20 visitors to analyse the show over a drink at the bar.