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National Premiere

September 21st - 22nd 2024
Scena internazionale - theatre

Yves Degryse

The making of Berlin

Between videos, performances and visual arts, the Berlin Company retells the story of Friedrich Mohr: at the end of WWII, the conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic decided to perform Siegfried’s Funeral March from Wagner’s Götterdämmerung one last time. Fiction and reality collide: to what extent can reality be manipulated when seeking a form of atonement?


BERLIN was founded in 2003 by artistic director Yves Degryse together with Bart Baele and Caroline Rochlitz. Alongside Barbara Raes and Melih Gençboyac?, Yves Degryse is now one of the three artistic directors of NTGent. BERLIN is joining in as house-maker. From the start on, BERLIN decided not to pin themselves down on one particular genre, but to venture into the documentary realm and let the site where each foray took them guide their inspiration. BERLIN’s performances are warmly received by both theatre and film enthusiasts, and play in that space where theatre and film, fiction and fact meet. The starting point of each performance by BERLIN is located in a city or a region somewhere on the planet. A characteristic feature of its approach is its documentary and interdisciplinary work methods. Focusing on a specific research question, it engages different media depending on the content of the project. In 2004, BERLIN started the series Holocene [the Holocene is the current geological era] with the performances Jerusalem, Iqaluit, Bonanza, Moscow and Zvizdal. The making of Berlin [2022] was the final instalment in the series. Besides that, BERLIN started a new cycle Horror Vacui [the fear of emptiness] of which Tagfish, Land’s End, Perhaps All The Dragons, Remember The Dragons and True Copy are the first five episodes. In 2013, the then ten-year-old Bonanza, receives the first prize at the Total Theatre Awards in Edinburgh, in the category ‘Innovation, Experimentation and Playing with Form.’ It has toured over 27 different countries. Zvizdal which will be brought to North America in 2019, also has an impressive tour history with 16 different countries on the counter, and in the Summer of 2018 celebrated its 200th performance since its premiere in 2016. The performance got selected for the Dutch TheaterFestival, which gathers the best performances of the past season in the Lowlands, a couple of years after Land’s End also was celebrated at the same festival as one of the most remarkable productions of that year (in 12/13). Bonanza, Land’s End, True Copy and The making of Berlin all got selected for the Belgian TheaterFestival. In 2015, BERLIN received a Flemish Culture Prize for the Performing Arts, awarded annually by the Flemish Government to an organization who makes a difference within the performing arts field. From the jury report: ‘There is no-one who knows how to enthrall an audience quite like BERLIN. Their documentary approach makes for a unique kind of theatre. The way in which BERLIN brings together different disciplines, is a paragon of how innovative the Flemish performing arts can be. In the coming years, BERLIN will build on its current momentum and also make room for innovation. Besides its own projects, space will be created to support young makers, two associate artists each realizing a project within the company. In 2024 Fien Leysen will kick off with ALABAMA, in 2026 it will be the turn of Emma Lesuis.

Yves Degryse (1977) is the artistic director of BERLIN, the company he founded in 2003 with Bart Baele and Caroline Rochlitz. Alongside Barbara Raes and Melih Gençboyac?, he was recently appointed artistic director of NTGent. Since 2022 he has been the sole artistic director of BERLIN, with The making of Berlin” as his first creation. At the same time, he created space within the company to support young creators, two associate artists who each carry out a project within BERLIN. From 2000 to 2009 Degryse was also part of the theatre collective SKaGeN. He trained as an actor with Dora van der Groen and performed with several companies (De Queeste, De Onderneming, De Maan, Comp. Marius). Besides his work in theatre, he can also regularly be seen on television and on the big screen (“Chantal”, “Callboys”, “De Helaasheid der Dingen”, “Broken Circle Breakdown”, etc)


Premiere: May 2022, DE SINGEL, Antwerp [BE].

Director: Yves Degryse
Performers on stage: Yves Degryse, Fien Leysen, Sam Loncke (alternating), Geert De Vleesschauwer, Bregt Janssens, Koen Goossens, Marjolein Demey (alternating) Rozanne Descheemaeker, Matea Majic, Diechje Minne, Jonathan Van der Beek (alternating)
On video: Friedrich Mohr, Martin Wuttke, Stefan Lennert, Werner Buchholz, Alisa Tomina, Krijn Thijs, Chantal Pattyn, Symfonisch Orchestra Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, Alejo Pérez, Caroline Große, Michael Becker, Claire Hoofwijk, Alejandro Urrutia, Marek Burák, Marvyn Pettina, Farnaz Emamverdi,
The BERLIN team: Jane Seynaeve, Eveline Martens, Yves Degryse, Jessica Ridderhof, Geert De Vleesschauwer, Sam Loncke, Manu Siebens, Kurt Lannoye,
The team from Opera Ballet Vlaanderen: Jan Vandenhouwe, Lise Thomas, Eva Knapen, Christophe De Tremerie
Video and video editing: Geert De Vleesschauwer, Fien Leysen, Yves Degryse
Video editing: Maria Feenstra
Drone shooting: Yorick Leusink and Solon Lutz
Backstage shooting: Fien Leysen
Set Design: Manu Siebens
Set construction: Manu Siebens, Ina Peeters, Rex Tee, Joris Festjens
Set construction and design: Jessica Ridderhof, Klaartje Vermeulen, Ruth Lodder, Ina Peeters
Music composition and mixing: Peter Van Laerhoven
Live music: Rozanne Descheemaeker, Diechje Minne, Matea Majic, Jonathan Van der Beek
Music in the film: Peter Van Laerhoven, Tim Coenen, Symfonisch Orchestra Opera Ballet Vlaandere

Production Credits

Production: BERLIN
Co-production: DE SINGEL [Antwerp, BE], le CENTQUATRE-PARIS [FR], Opera Ballet Vlaanderen [BE], VIERNULVIER [Ghent, BE], C-TAKT [Limburg, BE], Theaterfestival Boulevard [Den Bosch, NL], Berliner Festspiele [DE].

With the support of: the Flemish Government, Sabam for Culture, Tax Shelter of the Belgian federal government via Flanders Tax Shelter

Thanks to: Linnen Berlin, Xaveriuscollege, Zaal Billy, Corso, Klara, Oderberger Hotel, Het nieuwstedelijk, De Munt – La Monnaie, Cornelius Puschke, Lisa Homburger, Jill Barnes, Aino El Sohl, Natasha Padabed, Max-Philip Aschenbrenner, Carena Schlewitt, Myriam De Clopper, Barbara Raes, Dirk Rochtus, Anneleen Hermans, Mark Reybrouck, Karen Vermeiren, Guido Spruyt, Hannes d’Hoine, Niels Kloet, Roel Gelderland, Mark Dedecker, Eric Mostert/VMOO, Cees Vossen

BERLIN is an artist associated with DE SINGEL [Antwerp, BE] and an artist associated with CENTQUATRE-PARIS [FR].