December, 2005 Newsletter

Dear Email Friends,

The English Theatre of Hamburg wishes all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The Directors have cast Tennessee Williams's beautiful play, THE GLASS MENAGERIE, which will open on 30 January. You can download the teaching material for the play by using the link at the bottom of this newsletter. Go ahead. See if you can find it. The official premiere of the play is on 2 February, but there are still a few inexpensive seats available for the previews. If you like bargains, don't wait to book or you will be disappointed.

Please note: If you cannot see images or have found this newsletter in your spam folder, please use this link to avoid the problem.

You are now able to park underground behind the theatre (subject to a small charge) and take the elevator up to the theatre.

Have you missed recent newsletters? If so, all previous newsletters in this format are in our Newsletter Library. Use the link "Past Newsletters" (below) to access them.

Recent Press Clippings
Man nehme einen Thriller, eine Komödie, ein Comedy-Drama, eine köstliche Farce sowie die Suite eines Londoner Hotels, füge alles sinnvoll aneinander und erhält, vorausgesetzt man heißt Neil Simon, ein erstklassiges Theaterstück.
Dass diese gewagte Mischung tatsächlich funktioniert, ist zur Zeit im English Theatre of Hamburg zu sehen.


Das lediglich vierköpfige britische Ensemble, von dem fast jeder in kurzer Abfolge drei unterschiedliche Rollen verkörpern muss, brilliert durch wohldosierten Sprachwitz und Ausdrucksstärke . . . .

In Memoriam
Soon after Christopher Todd came to us in the early 1990s we learned that he had AIDS, and at that time there was no "AIDS cocktail" to prolong his life. He had just finished working in STARLIGHT EXPRESS in Bochum and had the strong legs and the energy that that musical on roller skates requires. Christopher also had charisma, a big spirit, a big heart and a voice you could hear from across Hamburger Strasse in rush hour traffic. He was made for the theatre.

He didn't just like people. He loved them and was interested in knowing all about everyone. We kept him busy and the work helped him to keep his mind off the dreadful disease. Some people in the theatre were available to him day and night, anytime he needed to talk or be comforted. The doctors and therapists at St. Georg Hospital were very kind to him too.

After a couple of years with us, his health failed noticeably and he decided to go back to his home in the United States where he was well taken care of until he died at age 30.

Where did he find the courage and the stamina to live from day to day and, despite his anguish, to make a contribution to the theatre and to the lives of the people who worked here then? He was a beautiful person who made us all laugh and feel so good.

Christopher Todd

30th Anniversary Season
(A time to review the last 30 years)

In 1966 Robert Rumpf (left) and Clifford Dean were both cast in the West Coast (USA) Premiere Production of Joan Littlewood's anti-war musical OH WHAT A LOVELY WAR! The musical was produced at the Festival Theatre in Marin County, just over the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. Bob Adler, of the New York Actors' Studio was the director. The background of this popular musical is World War I. All actors were dressed as clowns and played different roles. It may seem odd to put this photo, taken after a performance, in our Christmas newsletter, but there is a reason for doing so.

The most poignant part of the show was a dramatization of what actually took place on the battlefield on Christmas Eve in 1914. Robert played one of the English soldiers in the trenches. Clifford played a German soldier, one of many who were very close to the British troops that day … dangerously close. What happened, however, was not a bloody conflict, but a ceasefire and fraternization between enemies, which was, in fact, an act of treason. Clifford, as a German soldier, sang “Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht” offstage and got the attention of the English soldiers who were so moved by the familiar Christmas carol, that they lay down their arms and the German soldiers came to them in peace without their guns. Deadly enemies prior to this event, the two sides dared to come together and celebrate Christmas, which was, in fact, an act of treason.

Looking back now, Robert and Clifford find it interesting that ten years before they started The English Theatre of Hamburg, they had both been chosen to work in a production that involved British and American actors who also played Germans. That is how they met. Forty years later they are celebrating the thirtieth anniversary year of The English Theatre of Hamburg, and they are involved with British, German and American people every day. Was it fate? Was it coincidental?

What ever it was, it happened, and we are glad that it did. Robert and Clifford are glad to be here and they wish you the merriest of Christmas holidays and a Happy New Year!

Now playing:

a comedy by Neil Simon

Stephanie Schonfield, Hayward Morse, Stephen Chance,
Anah Ruddin and Erik Herrmann

Anah Ruddin and Stephanie Schonfield
(Photos: Hans-Jürgen Kock)

Please help your English Theatre with a donation, large or small.

You can find out about the benefits of sponsorship here: Sponsoring Package. Sponsoring is a two-way street. A sponsor helps the theatre, but the theatre does a lot for the sponsor as well.

Please transfer your gift to:

The English Theatre of Hamburg e.V.
Vereinsbank, Hamburg
Konto Nr.: 39 13 928 BLZ: 200 300 00

Please include your name, address, the name of your firm (if applicable) and The English Theatre's booking number: # 400.

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