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At the island of Elephanta reigns a good mouse king, but he is unhappy. He doesn’t know what an elephant looks like. Is it big or small, strong or weak? Does it have legs or wings? Five brave mice set off on a perilous journey across India hoping to assist their king.

In West Africa, the animals are debating which of them is the strongest. They decide to resolve the question with a contest. All the animals gather and present their strengths to loud cheers and applause. But when it is the turn of the human, a deathly silence falls. “Was that strength?” wonder the animals of the forest, afraid.

In re-imaginings of two folk tales – one from India and one from West Africa – the artists Kathleen Rappolt and Jan Sell narrate the strengths and qualities of elephants. The stories are told in German and German Sign Language.

Kathleen Rappapolt studied Early Years teaching at the ASH Berlin Centre for Further Education. Following that, she completed a Master’s degree in teaching Theatre and Artistic Storytelling. Storytelling in Art and Education (UdK Berlin). Since 2012 she has worked as a freelance storyteller, drama teacher and lecturer. She has been engaged to perform at many different theatres, national and international storytelling festivals, as well as working with educational institutions and in various projects, including ErzählZeit. She has been a member of the Theatre oN ensemble since September 2019. From 2015 to 2019 she was artistic director and presenter for Erzählbühne Berlin.

Jan Sell grew up in a boarding school for deaf people. Even then, he told bedtime stories to other children in the dormitory and created exciting dialogue for films on TV as there were no subtitles in East Germany. At the age of 15 he took to the grand stage and since then has participated in various theatre productions. He received awards for Best Actor for his performances as Bruno in Martha (2003) and as Gildo in Gott ist taub (2014). Since then Jan Sell has worked as an actor, editor and operator in the media division of ZfK e.V., and also as a storyteller.

  • free of charge
  • Book your ticket in advance online or at the box office in the Foyer.
  • The entrance to Hall 3 is in the Schlüter Courtyard next to the Sculpture Hall.
  • Duration: 30 min
  • Languages: German, German Sign Language
  • Accessible for wheelchairs
  • Ground Floor, Hall 3
Our tip: Find good stories in good books, visit the shop at the Humboldt Forum, online now too!

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Additional information


  • in German Sign Language and German.