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“The firmament” (Das Himmelszelt) by Lucy Kirkwood – Deutsches Theater | 12.11.2022-01.01.2023

Editors’ Choice

German by Corinna Brocher

In a small village on the east coast of England, a convicted murderess fights for her life in March 1759. Sally Poppy is accused by her husband of murdering a girl together with her lover. When her death sentence is announced, she claims to be pregnant – in which case the execution would have to be suspended. The Deutsches Theater in Berlin will show “Das Himmelszelt” in its German premiere from 12 November 2022.

Image above: Photo: Arno Declair

Twelve women from the village, who have already given birth to at least one child themselves, are appointed as a “matron jury” to determine or rule out the pregnancy. In a legal system that is alien and hostile to them, the women first rather reluctantly and unwillingly set out to find the truth, while outside a mob rages to see Sally Poppy hanged. Another event preoccupies the villagers: the appearance of a luminous comet approaching the earth at intervals of 74 to 79 years. All eyes turn expectantly towards the sky, away from the female body, which is the object of investigation and the battlefield on which the struggle for right and wrong is fought.

British playwright Lucy Kirkwood has written a gripping, precise courtroom drama for an almost exclusively female cast. She sprinkles current references into her historical plot, connecting the times. “It’s about how democracy works, what it means to cast a vote, and how to gain agency within the existing structures” (Lucy Kirkwood).


German premiere: Saturday, 12 November 2022

Other dates:
With English subtitles | 15 November 2022 | 20.00
With English subtitles | 24 November 2022 | 20.00
With English subtitles | 2 December 2022 | 20.00
With English subtitles | 8 December 2022 | 20.00
Followed by follow-up discussion with the Katholischen Akademie – Hall
With English subtitles | 1. January 2023 | 19.00


Deutsches Theater
Schumannstraße 13a
10117 Berlin-Mitte

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