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Alone in Berlin to have Northampton première

Published: 10 May 2019
Reporter: Steve Orme

Three theatres are to get together to stage the première of Alone in Berlin, Alistair Beaton’s adaptation of Hans Fallada’s novel.

Northampton Royal and Derngate artistic director James Dacre will direct the production which will open in Northampton before transferring to York Theatre Royal and Oxford Playhouse.

Described by Primo Levi as “the greatest book ever written about German resistance to the Nazis”, Alone in Berlin entered the bestseller list again in 2016—almost unheard of for a 20th century literary classic—as its themes began to resonate across the world once more.

Alone in Berlin is regularly adapted for stage productions across Europe but this will be the first time Fallada’s work has been seen on a British stage.

Set in 1940, the play is a portrait of life in wartime Berlin and a “vividly theatrical study of how paranoia can warp a society gripped by the fear of the night-time knock on the door”.

Based on true events, Alone in Berlin follows a quietly courageous couple who stand up to the brutal reality of the Nazi regime. They defy Hitler’s rule—facing the gravest of consequences.

Beaton has translated and adapted the work. He has also been responsible for translations of literary giants including Bertolt Brecht, Max Frisch and Nikolai Gogol.

Alone in Berlin opens at Royal and Derngate from 8 until 29 February 2020. It moves to York Theatre Royal from 3 until 21 March and Oxford Playhouse from 24 until 28 March.