Kammer 1



Director: Christopher Rüping


Münchner Kammerspiele, 29 September, 1922, was the premiere of “Trommeln in der Nacht” (Drums in the Night). After years of captivity, a man returns to Berlin to find the city in a state of revolution. His first stop is a visit to his former lover. There, in her parents’ living room, he finds out that his beloved has just become engaged to another man, a war profiteer, who will one day modernise her father’s factory. In disappointment and anger, the man joins the socialist battles taking place on the streets and becomes an important figure in the Spartacist Uprising against the conservative government. The violent occupation of the newspaper district by insurgents is imminent. At that point, his beloved comes to her senses and leaves her new fiancé to woo back her former lover. Faced with the choice between his lover and the uprising, he hesitates briefly before making a decision: he chooses to desert the insurgency and go home with his lover. After “Der Spieler”, “Hamlet” and, most recently, “Miranda July’s The First Bad Man”, Christopher Rüping, the in-house director at the Kammerspiele, stages Brecht’s story that is set in a turbulent era. The fact that the premiere took place at the Kammerspiele almost 100 years ago is no more than a footnote.
At the premiere, the protagonist chose to go with his lover and deserts his fellow insurgents. But even while Bertolt Brecht was writing this play, and throughout his life from then on, he struggled with his ending of “Trommeln in der Nacht”. Should the war veteran opt for the revolution instead of his own personal happiness? In this production, Christopher Rüping poses the question: What would have happened if...?

The version BY Bertolt Brecht will be shown on: 11. April 2020

The version BASED ON Bertolt Brecht will be shown on: will be announced shortly

With English surtitles. For our seating recommendations please click here.

Tip: Scroll to the bottom of the page in order to obtain the programme as PDF.


Hannes Hellmann, Nils Kahnwald, Christian Löber, Wiebke Mollenhauer, Wiebke Puls, Damian Rebgetz


Susanne Steinmassl

Stage Production

Christopher Rüping

Stage design

Jonathan Mertz


Christian Schweig


Paul Hankinson, Christoph Hart, Damian Rebgetz


Lene Schwind


Katinka Deecke

Invited to

Theatertreffen 2018
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Premiere on 14. December 2017


„Rüping has hit upon a resounding success with Trommeln in der Nacht, ‘nach Brecht,’ offering a plausible way forward in dealing with the tentative Brecht and discipline-ised Brecht. His approach is cerebral, self-reflective, thoughtful, and precise yet emerges from a pure creative, artistic instinct which has given us a Brecht we can use.“ (Culture Matters)


Bertolt Brecht’s “Drums in the Night,” (…) has been given a sweaty,

exciting and somewhat messy production at the hands of the director

Christopher Rüping at the Münchner Kammerspiel, the theater where the

play premiered in 1922. (...)
Mr. Rüping’s production shows you can

have it both ways, with two slightly altered versions (one listed as “by

Brecht”; and the other as “based on Brecht”) that alternate on the

theater’s schedule. Both versions, however, end with the plywood set

being torn down and noisily fed into a wood chipper, one the director’s

many inspired choices in this fast-moving and unpredictable staging. Mr.

Rüping has other tricks up his sleeve, which seem contrived to alienate

the audience as much as to engage with it. (...)
The small cast performs with admirable cohesion and intensity, (…).

the theater on the elegant Maximilianstrasse, Munich's Fifth Avenue,

you might feel shaken, spent or exhilerated. (...) the sense of

discombobulation that Mr. Rüping’s production leaves you with is a small

taste of what it’s like to be a stranger in a strange land.“
(New York Times)

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