A night out in Berlin with CHAMÄLEON Theatre:
The CHAMÄLEON Theatre is tucked away in one of the beautiful courtyards in the Hackesche Höfe area in the heart of East Berlin in wonderful Art Deco building, which was built in 1902.
The area was inhabited by the artistic community after the wall came down and has gone on to become a thriving district full small creative businesses hidden away amongst the pretty courtyards and passageways, many of which are adorned with fabulous street art.
This enchanting theatre, which is widely renowned as a venue for New Circus, was once an old ballroom and a venue for eccentric vaudeville, has retained its distinctive character, and has that rather sexy feel of a sultry nightclub in which it hosts cabaret-style seating where the audiences are able to order and drinks and food, enjoying the party feel throughout the show.
I was very excited to be returning to the CHAMÄLEON for my fourth visit (you can tell I’m in love!) to see their new show FINALE, I have relished every show to date and this turned out to be no exception.
FINALE is the work of the young Berlin-based company ANALOG, founded by Florian Zumkehr in 2013 with the express aim of removing all artifice. The ensemble has recently made waves with its very own, rebellious style both in Germany and abroad. FINALE runs until August 2018 which enables Berlin residents and visitors from all around the world to come and experience innovative, daring contemporary circus in this unique setting, which without the fear of language barriers makes it an accessible show for everyone.
Sitting in the splendid auditorium I was more than ready to spend a wild and raucous evening with a group of eight friends, all of them world-class artists and musicians who were about to take me on what proved to be a brazen, breathless adventure and celebration of life, exploring their stories and friendships with a fearless spirit.
I was captured from the outset as the performance began in the aisles of theatre incorporating the humble origins of buffoonery and clowning, executed with effortless charm by Florian Zumkehr and Richie Maguire who both performed in the award-winning musical “Pippin” on Broadway. The humorous antics left the audience open-mouthed as their tricks and bravery began to unfold.
What transpired once the company took the stage amongst the cardboard boxes is a party of all parties, with music, confetti, disco balls, paper doves and shots of Schnäpschen creating an unbridled sense of madness. The sassy vocalist and songwriter Ena Wild appeared in an extraordinary array of glitzy costumes which added a certain je ne sais quoi, her unique voice was accompanied by talented co-composer and drummer Lukas Thielecke, whose driving beats punctuated the pace of the performance building it up to an exhilarating crescendo.
Acrobat Ole Lehmkuhl presented an irresistible hoop routine that was nothing short of beautiful to watch, as was Swedish acrobat Manda Rydman. Carlos Zaspel’s pole act was truly extraordinary and has given me a whole new perspective on pole dancing! I also loved gifted juggler Bertan Canbeldek’s glow in the dark balls of which there were many. But what perhaps is so captivating about this show is the sense of fun and camaraderie amongst the cast which is truly compelling.
This is a show full of vibrant colour and surprising aesthetics, it immerses the audience in a world of fun and uncertainty, building on the infectious party atmosphere which by the end had me laughing and celebrating along with everyone in the house.
So if you are planning a trip to Berlin I would be sure to come to this remarkable theatre and see FINALE as I’m quite sure you won’t be disappointed.
Do check out my recent post about where to stay and what to do in Berlin, other than seeing Finale of course!