Season 2020/2021

SNAKE IN THE GRASS - a thriller by Alan Ayckbourn

3 September 2020 - 31 October 2020

Well known for his hilarious comedies, this play shows Ayckbourn entering new territory for a change and doing it brilliantly. Result: a suspenseful thriller with murder, blackmail, wind chimes that mysteriously play themselves, power cuts, threatening sounds - and all spiced with Ayckbourn’s classic British humour. The play is set in an English garden with three women moving around in it. Since a real snake never appears in the garden, the question becomes: who could fit that description? Is it Annabel, whose deceased father has left his entire fortune to her? A more likely suspect is her sister, Miriam, who has given up her life caring for Daddy and feels she has not got what she deserves. And then there's their father’s nurse, Alice, who claims she knows who murdered the old man and is prepared to reveal it to the police, unless…

"A hilarious, dark delight." -- Entertainment and the Arts

"Subtle and powerful." -- Guardian


SHIRLEY VALENTINE - a comedy by Willy Russell

12 January 2021 - 10 April 2021

A smash hit in London (1988) and in New York (1990), this witty and heart-warming comedy was later made into a popular film starring Pauline Collins and Tom Conti. Shirley Valentine is a lonely, 42 year old housewife. Her two children are grown up and gone.  Since she and her husband seldom talk anymore, she talks to herself, well, actually to the kitchen wall. As she cooks chips and eggs for supper, she wonders when her life stopped being good and tries to remember when the vibrant, carefree girl called Shirley Valentine disappeared.  When a friend invites her to accompany her on a holiday in the sun, she feels guilty about leaving her husband and is frightened of living life beyond the wall. She decides, however, to pack her bags and discover once again the true Shirley Valentine. She leaves a note on the kitchen table that reads, „Gone to Greece. Be back in two weeks.“ But will she ever return? In this one woman show, Shirley takes on the persons and voices of her husband, children, and friend, as well as the Greek tavern owner who tries to seduce her.

"…it’s impossible not to be enchanted and moved."
Limelight Magazine


OUTSIDE MULLINGAR - a comedy drama by Patrick Shanley

22 April 2021 - 19 June 2021

Author of the Pulitzer Prize winning DOUBT and the Oscar winning MOONSTRUCK, American playwright John Patrick Shanley drew upon his Irish roots to write this dramatic, romantic comedy which was nominated for a Broadway Tony Award in 2014. Set in rural Ireland, it focuses on Anthony and Rosemary who have lived on neighboring farms all their lives and watched their families fight bitterly over a piece of land. She has been secretly in love with him since they were kids, but stubbornly thinks he should make the first move. He, already wounded in love, lacks the courage and self-confidence to try again. Now nearing middle age, they are thrown into a crisis when Anthony’s father threatens to sell the farm to a nephew rather than leave it to him. How he and Rosemary cope with their fraught relationship in this new situation is both deeply moving and very funny. Dare they take a chance on love?


"Mr. Shanley’s finest work since DOUBT." – The New York Times

"An Irish good time!" -- The Huffington Post


THE 39 STEPS - a farcical thriller by Patrick Barlow (adapted from John Buchan's spy novel and Alfred Hitchcock's movie)

This production will be transferred to September 2021

After opening in London in 2006 and winning the Olivier Award for Best Comedy of the Year, this theatrical tour de force became one of the West End‘s longest running plays and a smash hit around the world. Part spy mystery and slapstick farce, it never fails to grip audiences with its suspense, fast pace and outrageous wit. And all with just four actors! The plot: A man bored with his life meets a glamorous woman who says she is a spy fleeing from a criminal gang called „The 39 Steps“. The man hides her in his flat where she shares top secret information with him. She is mysteriously murdered and he becomes the prime suspect. Pursued by both the police and the criminal gang, he goes on the run while simultaneously trying to prove his innocence -- a journey full of danger, bizarre characters and loads of laughs.

"Indominantly funny." -- The Times

"Humourous and sophisticated with a warm heart." -- What’s on Stage




Season 2020/2021

The theatre performs from September through June, giving a maximum of seven performances per week. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. from Tuesday to Sunday and at 11:30 a.m. on selected Wednesdays and Fridays. Monday evening performances take place the first week and towards the end of the run of a play. Check with the box office (040 / 227 70 89) for specific dates for Monday performances.

You can now book online You can print your own tickets when booking online.

For a German translation of the play summaries of Season 2020/2021 on this page click here.

The English Theatre of Hamburg e.V. is a private, professional theatre, the first to be founded in the whole of Germany.

It is subsidized in part by the Hamburg Ministry of Culture and is a non-profit organization and a member of the Deutscher Bühnenverein. Enjoy one of our evening or daytime performances of an English language play. Our international audience includes students of English as well as native speakers.

We present distinguished plays of all genres in the original English on a professional basis in our efforts to contribute to international communication through language and the art of the theatre.