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  • Preview: The art of ageing at Sophiensaele


Preview: The art of ageing at Sophiensaele

Age is just a number – or is it? A new intergenerational performance festival exploring the social, theatrical and political facets of ageing kicks off at Sophiensaele this week. Here's what not to miss.

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Sophiensaele’s Coming of Age festival sheds light on the social, theatrical and political facets of ageing. Photo: © An*dre Neely

Launching on September 15 and running through November, Sophiensaele‘s Coming of Age festival is shedding light upon the social, theatrical and political facets of something which affects us all – ageing. It’s unavoidable, and as Bette Davis said, “no place for sissies.” For a look at September’s shows, polish your specs and read on…

It’s straight to the hospice of the future with Berlin-based multi-disciplinary artist Liz Rosenfeld (US) and choreographer-performer Rodrigo Garcia Alves (BR) – albeit a multi-faceted one, from neighbourhood to cinema to cruising ground. Drawn from their ten-year friendship, they investigate the queer position on death, dying and end-of-life care. Arrive early to take in the video screening during admission.

Those suckers for all things musical will be spoiled with two. AHH – disruptive cultural scientist Golschan Ahmad Haschemi and the much-lauded Banafshe Hourmazdi – bring us OK Boomer, a wild cocktail of inter-generational feminism, karaoke pop hits and dance. Up at the Uferstudios, dancer-choreographer Sheena McGrandles mixes performance, spoken word and humour into her auto-fictional sci-fi piece Dawn: A Musical on Reproduction, with an ensemble of choristers and performers comprising “four bodies on the edge of fertility and a small choir of childless people that act as antagonists.”

In The History of Korean Western Theatre, Jaha Koo/Campo raises questions about tradition, self-censorship and authenticity, for, somewhat oddly, Korean theatre is largely determined by the Western canon. Come along and find out why South Koreans are so proud of this…

British cabaret, theatre and stand-up artist and director Ursula Martinez returns to Sophiensaele for a third time. Most famous for Hanky Panky, an act combining magic with striptease, she’s updated an autobiographical show she first performed in 1998, A Family Outing. From an original described as “devilish” and “cunningly orchestrated”, 20 Years On has been adapted to admit the absence of her deceased father and her mother’s early-stage dementia diagnosis. Guaranteed to be both hilarious and deeply moving.

Thank You for Your Effort, Even if These Requests Cannot be Fulfilled, Sept 15-17, 20:00, Sept 18, 21:00 (Eng)  | OK Boomer, Sept 18-20, 19:00 (DE & Eng)  |  The History of Korean Western Theatre, Sept 24-25, 21:00 (Korean, DE & Eng subtitles) |  A Family Outing – 20 Years On, Sept 24-25, 19:00 (Eng)  |  Dawn: A Musical on Reproduction, Sept 25-26, 14:00 & 19:30 (Eng) 

Coming of Age festival September 15 – November 7, Sophiensaele, Mitte. See the feature in our October issue’s cultural supplement. Full programme details here.