Where to watch English-language theatre
English-language theatre has come a long way over the past 10 years.
There was a time when you could choose between a few musicals, non-verbal dance or some amateur dramatics. Now the choice of touring shows, the growth of local theatre productions in English, and the quality of amateur performances has substantially improved, giving theatre-lovers plenty of performance options throughout the year.
So where can you see theatre, and who is producing and directing English-language theatre in Luxembourg.
Grand Theatre/Theatre des Capucins
The Theatres of Luxembourg City – namely the Grand Theatre and the one on rue des Capucins – are managed jointly to present a balance of opera, drama, ballet, dance, and more cutting-edge theatre and comedy.
The duo maintain partnerships with other performance venues in Europe, co-producing to allow local talent and artists to take part, and for local projects to go on tour abroad. There is a strong partnership, for example, with the Sadler’s Wells Theatre in the UK. A specific project this season, has seen the theatres explore the continent of Africa, with various performances, including the Life & Times of Michael K, based on the novel by nobel-prizewinning author JM Coetzee, which chronicles South Africa’s transition from apartheid (due to be performed at the Grand Theatre in May).
Created when Luxembourg was European City of Culture, it invites all professionals working in theatre, and so has staged smaller shows such as #WTF Happened? On the phenomenon of Trump.
From 23 April until 4 May you can catch Shakespeare’s Richard II, directed with a cast of only two, directed by Anne Simon.
A fairly small-sized theatre venue, the cultural centre also hosts drama workshops. It’s a great place to catch amateur productions from companies like BGT, who recently staged We Happy Few, and local productions in English like Larisa Faber’s Stark Bollock Naked. Although fundamentally a music and exhibition venue, it’s worth keeping an eye on its agenda for theatre performances.
Theatres outside the city
Accessible by bus and train, Mierscher Kulturhaus offers a diverse programme that supports local artists and amateur companies. It recently hosted the schools English-language theatre festival FEST, and showed Larissa Faber’s newest work, Paper Cuts. In May, the theatre will be hosting FEATS – the Festival of European Anglophone Theatrical Societies.
A theatre that welcomes visiting theatrical companies, and hosts its own productions, a few English-language performances have been planned as part of Esch2022. It hosts about 50 performances a year including theatre, dance and music from Europe, and home-grown works. Although productions are primarily in French and German, the theatre will be staging Human nations, united rights in June, performed by a Portuguese theatre company in both English and French.
Local theatre groups
Collateral drama was founded in July 2020 by actors Mayalani Moes and Alexandre Hornbeck, playwright and director Rafael David Kohn and make-up artist Joël Seiller. It aims to build bridges between cultural traditions and artist approaches, using English-language plays and German post-dramatic directing concepts. The group performed a trio of short plays under the banner “How to get rich in Luxembourg (Fast)” in the summer of 2021, and an abridged version of Euripides’ Medea at the Grand Theatre earlier in 2022.
Actors Repertory Theatre Luxembourg performs its own plays, often written by locally-based American playwright and actor Erik Abbott. It comprises professional actors from the region, and pre-Covid the company staged #WTF Happened? A one man show at the TNL. During the pandemic, the online performance of Vignettes of Pestilence, a trio of plays about lives affected by Covid, was performed for the Edinburgh and Minnesota Fringe Festivals.
Berliner Grund Theatre
Picnic at Hanging Rock, Little Women, A Christmas Carol and We Happy Few, are just some of the productions put on by BGTs group of amateur and professional actors. Staged in various locations such as Neimënster’s theatre or Mierscher Kulturhaus, the theatre group often adapts classic novels and even its own scripts, such as a recent one on Charles Dickens entitled The best of men, the worst of men.
Pirate Productions/ New World Theatre Club
Pirate productions is a non-profit English-speaking musical theatre group, whose troupe include actors of all ages. They produce a couple of musical shows a year, which in the past have included Scrooge and Oliver!, Fiddler on the Roof and Young Frankenstein. The 2022 production at rehearsal stage, Too Darn Hot, is a celebration of Cole Porter. The cast is not professional, but very talented, and the productions are usually family friendly.
The New World Theatre Club (NWTC) is another amateur theatre group that has been going for some 50 years in Luxembourg. It puts on productions of everything from Shakespeare to Tennessee Williams. The Club organises the Festival of European Anglophone Theatrical Societies or FEATS, which this year will be hosted at Mierscher Kulturhaus in May. A four-day event, there will be three groups performing on the main stage, under the banner theme Changing Times.