As you like it! The Monbijou Theater performs Shakespeare, and much more besides, including fairy tales and dance.
Whether it’s drama or comedy – the main thing is plenty of make-up! With their bright red cheeks, soot-black hands, curly wigs and brash costumes, the performers at the Monbijou Theater are an impressive sight. And the backdrop is just as striking. In summer the audience sit in the home-made wooden amphitheatre, with a great view not only of the stage, but also Berlin’s Museum Island. In winter, they can enjoy the funny – but scary – shows on the warm and comfy benches of the fairytale cottages.
Grimm and Andersen at the fairytale cottages in winter
Ice floes drift past on the river, the fields are blanketed in white and the snow crackles underfoot. Far away you see a hearth in front of a romantic wooden cottage. From inside you hear voices murmur. It sounds nothing at all like Berlin, but in fact it’s right in the middle of town. Welcome to the fairytale cottages in Monbijoupark on the banks of the Spree.
While the matinées are light-hearted, the evening performances are strictly for adults. When the poor, careworn farmer’s girl puts out the last light, a shiver will go up the spine of even the most hard-bitten fairytale fan. The programme includes stories by the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen.
It’s best to check the schedule for the fairytale cottages in October, because tickets often sell out weeks in advance.
Shakespeare, Molière and Goethe at the amphitheatre in summer
As You Like It, Tartuffe or The Accomplice – in summer the Monbijou Theater tackles the greats. From June to September two selected plays are on the programme: sometimes poetic, sometimes absurd, but always bursting with drama. The imposing amphitheatre is specially built every year from scratch and can accommodate 450 people.
Dancing by the Spree
The Monbijou Theater is also perhaps the city’s most beautiful open-air setting for dancing. Berliners were dancing by the Spree here long before the Parisians were doing it by the Seine. A disco ball and colourful fairy lights shine down on the swing and tango dancers. There are deckchairs for you to put your feet up after the theatre and dancing, enjoy a cocktail and realise that Berlin is your favourite city.
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