You’re not British if you haven’t walked down Abbey Road, Penny Lane, and Strawberry Fields, with Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds!

A Hard Days' Night - The Beatles.

A Hard Days’ Night – The Beatles.

If you’re here for the first time, let me just start by introducing myself.

Hi! My name is Victoria.

I was named after the Queen. Not that Queen. The other one!

I was born and grew up in the suburbs of a most famous and historical city called Manchester.

The suburban rivers of ye olde Manchester at the Bridge Canal.

The suburban rivers of ye olde Manchester at the Bridge Canal.

Manchester is in England and when you think of England you think of icons like King Henry VIII, The British Empire, David Bowie, and of course, The Beatles.

The Beatles may come from Liverpool, but you can’t have everything can you!

A few months ago, I wrote a piece on how to be British and even though I live in the amazing city of Berlin, I do sometimes get homesick.

Yep!

Afternoon Tea.

Afternoon Tea.

I sometimes miss dandelion and burdock, buttercups, and daffodils, cups of tea with delicate cupcakes and sandwiches. English butties smothered with chunky bits of marmalade filled with the rind and zest of oranges, that gives thickly sliced bread that extra bit of Oompf!

The Police with the lead singer - Sting.

The Police with the lead singer – Sting.

I sometimes miss walking along the Manchester canal surrounded by gentrified gastro-pubs that used to be working men pubs. Pubs filled with underaged kids either wearing tightly ripped jeans and second-hand leather jackets, or listening to the 70’s post-punk music of The Police, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Smiths, and The Cure.

Adam and the Ants in 1981.

Adam and the Ants in 1981.

I sometimes miss the bunch of English kids all wearing creamy-white shirts with ruffles, fancy glam Jodhpur pants, large hair, and a huge amount of make-up. Kids listening to the 1980’s New Romantics of David Bowie, and falling in love with Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music. I still love the man even after all these years, as well as Adam and the Ants, Culture Club, Spandau Ballet, and Duran Duran.

Oasis - Liam and Noel Gallagher.

Oasis – Liam and Noel Gallagher.

I definitely miss the 90’s we’re-back-on-top-Britpop independent music scene era of singing in regional British accents, with lyrics and images of British places, culture, fashion and food, and the troublesome local Oasis boys from Manchester.

I actually met Noel once, on a side-street with Meg Mathews in Paris! He signed my diary in lipstick as I didn’t have a pen!

I still have the diary!

The young band - Blur - with their lead singer Damon Albarn. Damon later went on to form the  virtual band -  Gorillaz.

The young band – Blur – with their lead singer Damon Albarn. Damon later went on to form the virtual band – Gorillaz.

Blur, The Verve, Pulp, Skunk Anansie (I love that edgy girl – Skin), Supergrass, Placebo, Elastica, Suede, The Prodigy, and the Spice Girls. I miss them so much that sometimes I want to cry!

Those were the days!

The days when Britain rode that wave of alternative poprock and before moving into the mainstream, forming that cultural movement called Cool Britannia.

Cool Britannia!

Cool Britannia!

But of course, none of this would have happened without the grandfathers of British rockpop. That’s right, none of this would have happened without those four (4) young working class boys from Liverpool.

The 4 young men known as The Beatles.

The 4 young men known as The Beatles.

Those boys later to be known as The Beatles.

Just two weeks ago, I went to a musical performance and smash-hit tour of a Beatles-Revival production show called Let It Be.

I found out about them because I saw a poster a couple of months ago, so I contacted the Berlin venue, who put me in touch with the European promoters, who very kindly offered me two complimentary press tickets.

I was very excited!

Let It Be - The Musical.

Let It Be – The Musical.

So, let’s get started!

I watched Let It Be at one of Berlin’s oldest theatre venues: the Admiralspalast.

WHAT’S THE ADMIRALPALAST?

The Admiralspalast in 1940. © Berliner Morgenpost 2014.

The Admiralspalast in 1940.
© Berliner Morgenpost 2014.

The Admiralspalast or the Admirals Palace, is a theatre in the “Mitte” district of Berlin. Mitte is now known as the East End and the Broadway area of Berlin. It’s also part of Berlin’s hip nightlife quarter so if you’re looking for the theatre land of Berlin, all you have to do is walk.

Opened in 1909, it was one of the locations of the glamour set and a major contribution to the distinctive cultural image of the jazz years in Berlin during the roaring twenties, and the early swinging thirties. The golden twenties resulted in the wonderful artistic spread of revues, cabarets, dancing halls, and variety shows, before that world and everything in it, was destroyed by Hitler in 1933.

Now one of the last few preserved variety venues of the pre-World War II era, the Admiralspalast originally included a skating rink, a luxury spa and swimming pool, and a 24 hour cinema! After the Second World War, the Admiralspalast became the venue of the State Opera and during the Soviet occupation in 1946, became a theatre under the watchful eye of the Communist Party.

A beautiful piece of the Admiralspalast in Berlin.

A beautiful piece of the Admiralspalast in Berlin.

Thankfully, the very beautiful Admiralspalast suffered very little damage from the various wars and so after the Berlin Wall Fell in 1989, the Admiralspalast once again became an exclusive venue for art and entertainment.

WHAT’S LET IT BE?

An acoustic scene at Let It Be.  Photo@ Paul Coltas

An acoustic scene at Let It Be.
Photo@ Paul Coltas

Let It Be is a British West End production that was based at the Garrick Theatre in London.If you recall, the last time I went to London, I went to another musical at the Sadler’s Well Theatre in London called – The Merchants of Bollywood. Anyway, Let It Be had such a successful summer that they decided to take their show on the road with a rocking European tour across Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy!

Last week, I told you how lucky we are in Berlin, that we can still watch such amazing British performances without actually having to go to the English capital! And to make it even more interesting, you don’t even have to be in Berlin, you can also be in Munich (Germany), Linz and Vienna (Austria), and Zürich (in Switzerland).

Not only that but Let It Be are also going to be touring 2015 in Canada and New Zealand!

WHAT DOES THE SHOW’S NAME MEAN?

At the Liverpool club called the Cavern - Let It Be. Photo@ Paul Coltas

At the Liverpool club called the Cavern – Let It Be.
Photo@ Paul Coltas

Let It Be is a jam-packed performance of over forty (40), of The Beatles’ greatest hits. It’s the story of the boys meteoric rise from their humble working class beginnings in Liverpool at the Cavern Club, to their discovery in Hamburg Germany, and the life-changing height of Beatlemania, and studio masterpieces.

We even got to see live black and white performances of early tracks of songs such as Twist and Shout, She Loves You, and Drive My Car, as well as global mega-hits from Yesterday, Hey Jude, Come Together, and of course, Let It Be!

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - Let It Be. Photo@ Brinkhoff Moegenburg.

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – Let It Be.
Photo@ Brinkhoff Moegenburg.

My favourite bits were tracks, images, and performances from the colourful, psychedelic album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was and is, my favourite Beatles album although as a little girl I couldn’t understand why they kept singing about a girl called Lucy with diamonds, and tangerines and marmalade. Lucy was the name of my favourite raggedy doll you see!

Imagine a throwback of the recovering 1950’s of Britain.

Imagine the dingy clubs and pubs that each and every artist has to go through.

Imagine the colourful images of love, freedom, and flowers.

Imagine the rush of knowing that you were in the middle of something new, important, and so “it”.

Imagine starting a musical revolution, breaking stereotypes, and putting your country on the world musical map.

A poster of the Ed Sullivan show in America.

A poster of the Ed Sullivan show in America.

Image going to America, on the Ed Sullivan show, and every other important show on the planet.

I mean, imagine young teenage girls fainting and crying.

Imagine young teenage boys fainting and crying!

Imagine people pulling your hair. storming your hotel, squashing and shoving your car.

Imagine the fame, the noise, and the love.

Ladies and Gentlemen. I present to you the story of The Beatles!

Ra! Ra! Ra!

Screaming teenaged boys and girls!

Screaming teenaged boys and girls!

At the end of the evening, we were all standing and cheering. A few people were even dancing! Let me tell you, this is a feat. It’s difficult to get a German audience to clap their hands to the beat, not to talk of shaking a little.

This performance was a triumph!

"Paul" and "George" at  Let It Be. Photo@ Paul Coltas.

“Paul” and “George” at Let It Be.
Photo@ Paul Coltas.

DO I NEED TO UNDERSTAND GERMAN TO WATCH IT?

Not in the least!

There were a few moments when the audience didn’t understand the jokes of the performers as they spoke in “real” English with Scouser (Liverpool) accents, but with a few waves of the arms, and a couple of “Come On’s’,” the audience began to understand what was requested, and to warm up.

The show is excellent for an international audience, as you just need to know the lyrics and singalong. And singalong we did!

"Ringo" on the drums - Let It Be. Photo@ Paul Coltas

“Ringo” on the drums – Let It Be.
Photo@ Paul Coltas

MY VERDICT?

A stunning success!

Let It Be is a family friendly (albeit not for very young children), musical production.

If you love lavish entertainment, music, dance, and cabaret, in the wonderful setting of Germany’s capital city – Berlin, then the Admiralspalast is an excellent location.

Let It Be is a performance worth going to in either Europe, North America, or New Zealand!

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - Let It Be.  Photo@ Paul Coltas

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – Let It Be. Photo@ Paul Coltas

Because if you’re a Beatles fan you can:

  • Be extremely close to (depending on your ticket), an entertaining musical production.
  • Be enthralled by the scenery and story of The Beatles.
  • Travel back to the magical sixties when all you needed was love, and a little help from your friends.
  • Imagine that you’re actually there, and judging by the mixed audience age-group, I think some of the audience were actually there!
  • Come early and wander around one of the largest theatre stages in Berlin.
  • Be a part of history and imagine yourself back in the fifties and sixties of Beatlemania.
God Save the Queen in Cool Britannia!

God Save the Queen in Cool Britannia!

WHAT IF LET IT BE REALLY ISN’T MY CUP OF TEA?

Not to worry. Keep reading my blog. There is more to come!

Let It Be was only in Berlin for a fast-paced six (6) days but you can still catch them in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy until 07.12.14, so get your tickets soon!

Tickets for Let It Be are at various prices around Europe, and can be bought online here.

Approximate running time: A little under 3 hours, including a 20 minute interval.

For more information about the show, please contact: Let It Be.

For more information about the venue, please contact: the Admiralspalast in Berlin.

Images of Cool Britannia with absolutely everybody LOL!  @Debbiefm

Images of Cool Britannia with absolutely everybody LOL!
@Debbiefm

This article is not sponsored and even though I received a complimentary ticket, all opinions and the delicious champagne that I wonderfully drank, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you so next week I will be returning to our adventures in Indonesia, and Qatar!

Christmas is coming, with more exclusive productions, and merry-making at German Xmas Markets. Yay!

Additional National Theatre Live productions are also coming up and can be seen at the Cinestar Berlin – Original such as:

For the rest of the year, Berlin will be celebrating and marking the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall.

November is going to be a blast!

Watch this space!

The Abbey Road Zebra Crossing.

The Abbey Road Zebra Crossing.

Have you walked down the Abbey Road in London? What is your favourite Beatles track? Would you watch a dazzling musical such as Let It Be?

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post.

Share it! Tweet it! Like it!

Frankenstein isn’t dead! Thrills and spills, Danny Boyle, Benedict, & Jonny Lee Miller!

The Creature (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Victor Frankenstein (Jonny Lee Miller).

The Creature (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Victor Frankenstein (Jonny Lee Miller).

If you follow me on Twitter and of course you do, you would have seen all the exciting features and pictures of the anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, and to tell you the truth, I never get sick of Berlin. How can I, when there’s so much to do, so many places to go, and so many things to see?

It’s a privilege to live here ‘cos we get to live in a world-famous historical city, and we also get to participate in critically acclaimed world-wide productions; and one of those productions is that of Frankenstein.

Yes, Frankenstein.

If you thought Frankenstein was dead, archaic, and boring, you can think again because Frankenstein is here to stay!

A few weeks ago, I received a couple of tickets from one of Berlin’s very few cinemas in which you can watch original English Language films. The cinema is called: CineStar Berlin – Original. im Sony Center.

Vanessa Kirby, Gillian Anderson, and Ben Foster in A Streetcar Named Desire. National Theatre Live.

Vanessa Kirby, Gillian Anderson, and Ben Foster in A Streetcar Named Desire. National Theatre Live.

You can watch Hollywood blockbusters, Oscar nominated films, the English Royal Opera Live and live productions from the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Awesome or what?

It’s the cinema that I go to the most and this time I chose to watch a collection of National Theatre Live productions. In September, I watched a thrilling performance of Gillian Anderson, Ben Foster and Vanessa Kirby in the timeless LIVE masterpiece of A Streetcar Named Desire.

Carey Mulligan and Bill Nighy in Skylight at the National Theatre Live.

Carey Mulligan and Bill Nighy in Skylight at the National Theatre Live.

In October, I watched a marvellous performance of Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan in the highly anticipated LIVE West End production of David Hare’s Skylight. 

Mary Shelley the writer of the very gruesome but fascinating - Frankenstein.

Mary Shelley the writer of the very gruesome but fascinating – Frankenstein.

Just last week, I was enthralled to be able to watch the LIVE thrilling broadcast of Frankenstein, based on the novel of the 19th century English novelist, Mary Shelley.

We are so, so, so lucky to be one of the designated cities to have original productions broadcasted by the English Royal National Theatre. Live. What this means is that you don’t have to go to London to watch these productions and pay through your nose, but you can relax and watch them from the comfy seat of a world-class cinema instead.

So last week, I went to see Frankenstein.

De Lacey (Karl Johnson) and The Creature (Benedict Cumberbatch).

De Lacey (Karl Johnson) and The Creature (Benedict Cumberbatch).

Part of focusing on Berlin is to let you know the type of thing that you can do here, when you visit.

You don’t speak German, I hear you say.

Not to worry. There are plenty of activities that you can do, or places that you can go, with very foreign language skills needed. A little more English perhaps, but if you can read this blog, you’re going to do fine LOL!

The Royal English National Theatre.

The Royal English National Theatre.

WHAT’S THE NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE?

The National Theatre Live is an exciting initiative to broadcast live performances of the best of British theatre, to cinemas in Britain and around the world. Launched in 2009, the National Theatre Live is shown in over 700 cinemas, in 22 countries all around the world. So far, I’ve personally seen six (6) productions and between now and January, 2015, I intend to see three (3) more!

Boris Karloff from the very familiar image of the monster in the 1935 American horror film "The Bride of Frankenstein."

Boris Karloff from the very familiar image of the monster in the 1935 American horror film “The Bride of Frankenstein.”

WHAT IS FRANKENSTEIN ABOUT?

The Creature (Bendedict Cumberbatch).

The Creature (Bendedict Cumberbatch).

Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus was written in 1818 by the English writer – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley.

In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century gothic novels were enormously popular, what with the scandal of Jack the Ripper, Wilkie Collin’s The Woman in White, and Penny Dreadful lurid serial stories. The Georgian era was coming to an end and Victorian England was to begin in less than twenty (20) years, sparking social changes that resulted in increased literacy rates.

England was ripe for something different.

Indeed, Mary Shelley’s romantic horror novel struck a chord. Her book spiced the imagination of the public with a fascinating story of an eccentric scientist called Victor Frankenstein.

Dr. Frankenstein went on a quest to produce a living creature from human parts, and succeeded. He created a grotesque creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment, and genetic manipulation began!

In the shock and admiration of the moment, Dr. Frankenstein initially abandoned his creation out of horror and remorse, and The Creature set out to learn about mankind, and to find his creator.

With childlike innocence but a horrifying grotesque body and look, the bewildered Creature met with cruelty wherever he went, in a thrilling and deeply disturbing, classic, gothic tale.

It didn’t turn out well.

DO I NEED TO UNDERSTAND CLASSIC LITERATURE TO WATCH IT?

The title page of the first edition of Frankenstein, Volume I by Mary Shelley.

The title page of the first edition of Frankenstein, Volume I by Mary Shelley.

Nope!

You don’t need to get the words in order to understand the play. It’s pretty plain to see the anger, the pain, the thrills and the spills. Without giving too much away – this is a production with a difference, as the main actors Benedict and Jonny both play the character and parts of Dr. Victor Frankenstein AND The Creature.

The Creature (Jonny Lee Miller).

The Creature (Jonny Lee Miller).

Last week, Dr. Frankenstein was played by the intense Benedict and the creature by the gorgeous Jonny. On 27.11.14, the parts will be in reverse whereby Dr. Frankenstein will be acted out by Benedict and The Creature by Jonny!

DO I “KNOW” ANYONE?

You sure do. Frankenstein is awash with skilled and talented performers with very high critically acclaim.

Danny Boyle. Photo@ Lucas Jackson - Time.com

Danny Boyle.
Photo@ Lucas Jackson – Time.com

DANNY BOYLE: Well, he’s the Academy Award-winner playwright director of Frankenstein, and also the director of such film projects as Shallow Grave (1995), Trainspotting (1996), The Beach (2000), and Slumdog Millionaire (2008).

Benedict Cumberbatch.

Benedict Cumberbatch.

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH: Benedict plays both the titles roles of The Creature as well as Victor Frankenstein. He is one of England’s critically acclaimed talents in British theatre and films. Recognised around the world, Benedict did not achieve international recognition until the first series of Sherlock in 2010, but you could already see that he was destined for higher things in Atonement (2007), The Other Boleyn Girl (2008), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011), Star Trek into Darkness (2013), The Hobbit (2012-2014, and Sherlock (2010 – present.

In Britain, he is also known as the The Thinking Woman’s Crumpet!

Victor Frankenstein (Jonny Lee Miller).

Victor Frankenstein (Jonny Lee Miller).

JONNY LEE MILLER: Jonny also plays both the titles roles of Victor Frankenstein as well as  The Creature and is a respected actor. You know him as Sick Boy in Trainspotting (1996), and other excellent productions such as Hackers (1995), Trainspotting of course (1996), Plunkett & Macleane (1999), Mansfield Park (1999), Dexter (2010), and now making waves across the pond, as Sherlock Holmes in the American CBS crime drama: Elementary (2012 – present).

Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft in the film - Tomb Raider.

Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft in the film – Tomb Raider.

And in case you’re wondering, Yes, Jonny. L. Miller is also the ex, and first husband of Angelina Jolie (cheeky fellow, but phwrooah. She’s one helluva hot sexy babe)?!

Victor Frankenstein (Johnny Lee Miller) and Elizabeth Lavenza (Naomie Harris).

Victor Frankenstein (Johnny Lee Miller) and Elizabeth Lavenza (Naomie Harris).

NAOMIE HARRIS: The very beautiful and talented actor Naomie, plays the part of Elizabeth Lavenza, the wife-to-be of Victor Frankenstein. She can be found in 28 Days Later (2002), Pirates of the Caribbean (2006 & 2007), Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013), and as the first person of colour, to play Miss Moneypenny in James Bond’s Skyfall (2012).

The Company.

The Company.

You might not know Karl Johnson who plays De Lacey the blind scholar who teaches The Creature fine manners, etiquette, and the way to be a gentleman, John Stahl who plays Ewan, a local farmer, or even Ella Smith who plays both Clarice a maid, and Gretel, a local prostitute! But I bet you’re familiar with the actor George Harris.

George Harris (M.Frankenstein).

George Harris (M.Frankenstein).

GEORGE HARRIS: George Harris plays M. Frankenstein, Victor’s father. He can be seen in such productions as Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Black Hawk Down (2001), Layer Cake (2004), and is most famously known as the very skillful Senior Auror and later, Minister for Magic (following the death of Voldemort), in the Harry Potter films (2007, 2010, and 2011).

Jonny Lee Miller.

Jonny Lee Miller.

MY VERDICT?

Absolutely delightful! I might be biased here but you can never go wrong with a British production!

I am an addict of good literature and historical drama. Watching the theatre in a cinema setting is as good as being at the theatre itself. Whoever coughed up that idea is a clever fellow. Because you can:

  • Watch a theatre production in the comfort of (depending on your ticket), a luxury seat.
  • Wear whatever you want although I noticed a few people dressed up. Mostly, we British people. It’s ingrained in our blood!
  • Sit together as a group of 3 or a group of 20.
  • If you’re really squeezed, you can stretch and walk around in the stairway of the cinema. Somehow, I don’t see that happening in a “real” theatre.
  • You can bring your popcorn, and beer into your seat but for more authenticity, buy wine and brand bottles and glasses about like I did. It’s the theatre sweetie!!
  • Most importantly, quality theatre of the best actors on the British stage for only €18.00, in your own home-town or nearby!
  • Watch the two most modern and inspiring 21st century British actors who both play the role of Sherlock Holmes most successfully in two (2) different TV series (Sherlock and Elementary), do it again. Not only do they meet up as respected artists and working actors, but they also perform together in one dramatic piece, and play the same leading characters on alternative days.

How wonderfully sick is that!

Behind the Scenes at the National Theatre Live.

Behind the Scenes at the National Theatre Live.

WHAT IF FRANKENSTEIN REALLY ISN’T MY CUP OF TEA?

Not to worry. Keep reading my blog. There is more to come!

There are more productions coming up that can be seen at the Cinestar Berlin – Original such as:

  • John. A new play about crime, drug use, and a struggle to survive, containing adult themes, strong language, and nudity. Suitable for 18yrs+ coming up in Berlin on: 08.01.15.
  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson is a story of murder, money and mutiny brought to life in a thrilling new stage adaptation. Suitable for 10yrs+ coming up in Berlin on: 22.01.15.

Tickets for the National Theatre Live in Berlin are €18.00 for adults and €13.00 for children, and can be bought online here.

A wonderful bargain!

Approximate running time: About 2 hours.

For more information about Frankenstein, please contact: The National Theatre Live.

For more information about Original English films or productions in Berlin, please contact: CineStar Berlin – Original.

Hello Frankenstein!

Hello Frankenstein!

This article is not sponsored and even though I received a complimentary ticket, all opinions and the lovely wine that I gleefully drank, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you so I will be returning to our adventures in Indonesia, and Qatar, later at the very end of the month!

Next week, I will be writing about the smash-hit tour of the UK and Ireland, LET IT BE a six (6) day exclusive showing of a celebration of The Beatles from 11.11.14 – 16.11.14 at the Admirals Palast.

The next Strictly Stand Up performance at the Quatsch Comedy Club is on 19.11.14 headlined by Terry Alderton (UK), joined by Al Lubel (USA), and Yianni (Australian), and supported by Drew  Portnoy (an up-and-coming American Berlin expat)!

For the rest of the year, Berlin will be celebrating and marking the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall.

November is going to be delicious!

Watch this space!

Frankenstein of old! http://ihorror.com

Frankenstein of old!
http://ihorror.com

Have you ever been to a National Theatre Live production? Are you frightened of Frankenstein? Team Bendict Cumberbatch or Team Jonny Lee Miller?!

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post.

Share it! Tweet it! Like it!

You know you’re in Berlin when it’s funny, and tears fall into your champagne!

Strictly Stand Up.

Strictly Stand Up.

It’s November.

I’ve been a busy little Lizzie!

This Autumn season has been fantastic for me and my blog. In October, I went on my first press trip ever. I went to Northern France. It was fantastic and I was so well looked after. Thank you Atout France Deutschland and Comité Régional de Tourisme Nord-Pas de Calais!

My blog The British Berliner, had it’s 1st blog birthday on October 21st, and I went on a food walking tour with Eat-the-world. During this time, I also went on a wave of comedy-show watching and quite a few were in one of my favourite places  – The Quatsch Comedy Club.

On November 9th, Berlin celebrated and remembered 25 years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall.

I am constantly amazed that I literally live on the doorstep of where the East Berliners initially walked through crying and laughing into the West. How lucky am I!

Crying and laughing I tell you.

Crying? OK.

Laughing?

Who knew that Germans could be funny?!!!

Bill Bailey on tour at the Quatsch Comedy Club, Berlin.

Bill Bailey on tour at the Quatsch Comedy Club, Berlin.

In May, The Music Producer and I went to see Bill Bailey at the Quatsch Comedy.

He was great and so out there!

Last year, I went to see Eddie Izzard at the Quatsch Comedy too.

He was a scream!

In September, I went to see the Damien Clark (Australian), Isak Jansson (Swedish) and Bobby Mair (Canadian).

Drinking Champagne before the tears of laughter took over! Picture @iStockPhoto

Drinking Champagne before the tears of laughter took over!
Picture @iStockPhoto

It was hilarious. It was so hilarious that tears fell into my champagne!

That’s right tears!

Tears of laughter if you must know!

It seems that the Quatsch Comedy people seem to know a thing or two about how to get people to laugh so much so that I ended up spluttering in my champagne. Ohmigod!?!

A few weeks ago, I invited a new Irish friend of mine to come along with me. Her name is Linda from Expat Eye on Germany, and she made a name for herself where she wrecked havoc in Latvia, now she’s moved to Berlin so watch out people!

We went to see a young Scottish chappie called Daniel Sloss supported by our very own British expat, Jack Woodhead.

Jack Woodhead with a lovely pair of silver, sparkly shoes which I want!     Photo@Jack woodhead.

Jack Woodhead with a lovely pair of silver, sparkly shoes which I want!
Photo@Jack woodhead.

I’ve talked about Jack before as he headlined and wrote many of the lyrics of the SHEER MADNESS production at the Wintergarten Varieté Berlin .

Jack was entertaining and sang tales of lost love and happy jollification, back when he lived in New York. He combined his virtuosic piano skills with singing, comedy, and haute couture. He strolled along the stage with his long legs, flashy shoes, and with a huge smile got his nail polish sloshed across the ivory keys of the Grand Piano!

Oh dear!

The hilarious Daniel Sloss

The hilarious Daniel Sloss

He got us all giggling and then the star of the evening  – Daniel Sloss came bounding through like an energetic puppy. And bound he did. Daniel had us up in our seats when he started things off with the Scottish election. He’s from Scotland you see and although he grew up in Fife, he lives in Edinburgh.

In February 2014, Daniel became the first comedian ever to perform twice within 2 months, on the USA’s Conan O’Brien Show. Wow! That’s hot stuff!

Gag after gag after gag came streaming out of Daniel’s mouth. He had us laughing so much that our table shook. He spoke about the Tinder app, the love of his mother, his intellectual parents, drinking urine on stage, and practically being thrown out of Indianapolis ‘cos of his heathen jokes!

I don’t think they found it funny.

Christian the "German Comedian."

Christian the “German Comedian.”

So let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, apart from the host and Master of Ceremony of the regular shows: Christian Schulte-Loh who is actually German and is otherwise known as the “German Comedian,” all the performers are either English-native speakers or English-speaking Europeans.

As such, the Quatsch Comedy Club is usually packed with expats, visiting Brits, “exposed” Germans, and English-speaking Europeans who like stand-up comedy.

International comedians are coming to Berlin and showing people what a good performance  stand-up comedy can be.

Berlin is making waves and getting noticed.

Stand-up comedy is still a new phenomenon in Germany but the English-speaking scene has been slowly moving out of the underground scene (of which there are many. Free shots of whisky for everyone included!) and into the main-stream.

So let’s get to the nitty-gritty.

Quatsch Comedy Club in Berlin.

Quatsch Comedy Club in Berlin.

WHAT’S THE QUATSCH COMEDY CLUB?

The Quatsch Comedy Club is the baby of Thomas Hermann who is the founder and director of Germany’s first comedy club. Ever. And those shows have always been in German. Last year (2013), for the first time since they opened in 1996, they decided to put on an English-only production. That glory belonged to one of Britain’s top international stars – Eddie Izzard.

Eddie Izzard and I at the Admiralspalast, Berlin.

Eddie Izzard and I at the Admiralspalast, Berlin.

I was there.

That show was out of this world!

Everyone who was anyone in the capital city of Berlin, was there. I was on the 3rd row from the front. So yeah. Count me in!

That show was so popular that the Quatsch Comedy Club decided to take a chance and stage regular shows roughly, every two months. Those shows became known as Strictly Stand Up.

keep-calm-and-stand-up-for-my-comedy-2

WHAT’S STRICTLY STAND UP ALL ABOUT?

It’s an opportunity for the international audience to get the London and New York comedy club feeling LIVE in Berlin. The line-up changes from show to show but is always hosted by the London-based German comedian, Christian Schulte-Loh.

I like Christian. He’s German and he’s funny. In fact, I liked him so much that when I got the opportunity to interview him, I did so with delight and gusto!

Christian is the host of Strictly Stand Up which is an act of three international highly respected English-speaking stand-up comedians. All the acts are regulars at the top comedy venues world-wide, so we’re getting good stuff. Of course, being Berlin, we get to hang out with the stars after the show too.

At the last Strictly Stand Up gig, we hung out with both Daniel and Jack. We left after midnight as it was a school night, but let me tell you. I didn’t want to and then Linda, went on to have an interesting night of her own LOL!

Does anyone remember "Men Behaving Badly" starring Martin Clunes & Neil Morrissey? Gosh, those were the days! Photo @BBC Entertainment

Does anyone remember “Men Behaving Badly” starring Martin Clunes & Neil Morrissey? Gosh, those were the days!
Photo @BBC Entertainment

DO I NEED TO UNDERSTAND GERMAN?

Not in the least!

The comedy club is excellent for an international audience. There might be a few jokes that make reference to Anglo-American shows and characters, but and all you need to do is sit back, have a drink, and enjoy the show!

The Union Jack symbolizing everything in English and also American!

The Union Jack symbolizing everything in English and also American!

ANYTHING ELSE?

The English-speaking comedy scene is growing and Berlin is definitely one of the places that if you’re a stand-up comedian with clout, or you love watching live comedy, you have to come to.

The tradition of stand-up is still not well understood in Germany, but it’s definitely improving.

MY VERDICT

It has always been so much fun.

Recommended all the way!

WHAT IF STRICTLY STAND UP ISN’T MY CUP OF TEA?

Keep reading my blog. There is more to come!

English Comedy Night

English Comedy Night

Tickets for Strictly Stand Up are from €22.00. Not for young children as the content is strictly adults only! Tickets can be bought online here.

Approximate running time: About 2.5 hours. Not including the drinks and a chatter after the show!

For more information about the show please contact: Strictly Stand Up.

For more information about the venue please contact: Quatsch Comedy Club.

The next STRICTLY STAND UP performance is on November 19th headlined by Terry Alderton (UK), and joined by Al Lubel (USA), Yianni (Australian), and supported by Drew  Portnoy (an up-and-coming American Berlin expat)!

This is all you need! Photo @maltainsideout

This is all you need!
Photo @maltainsideout

This article is not sponsored and even though I received a complimentary ticket, all opinions and the cocktails that I joyfully drank, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you so I will be returning to our adventures in Indonesia, and Qatar, later in November.

Next week, I will be writing about the British National Theatre LIVE productions taking place throughout the month. The next production coming up at Cinestar Berlin – Original is:

Frankenstein – Original Cast on: 13.11.14.

Frankenstein – Reversed Cast on: 27.11.14.

For the rest of the year, Berlin will be celebrating and marking the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall.

Following a smash-hit tour of the UK and Ireland, LET IT BE will descend on Berlin with a six (6) day exclusive showing of a celebration of The Beatles from 11.11.14 – 16.11.14 at the Admirals Palast. This, I’m sure, is going to be so cooooool!

November is going to be fabulous!

Watch this space!

 

Ricky Gervais (The Office), Rowan Atkinson (Blackadder), John Cleese (Fawlty Towers) & Stephen Fry (as Stephen Fry)!      Photo @BBC Entertainment

Ricky Gervais (The Office), Rowan Atkinson (Blackadder), John Cleese (Fawlty Towers) & Stephen Fry (as Stephen Fry)! Photo @BBC Entertainment

 Have you been to a stand-up comedy show? Are you a diva? Is the stage your Forté?

See you in Berlin.

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