VOLKSBÜHNE
Berlin

Photo: Axel Völcker

Reformbühne Heim & Welt
Mit: Bolschewistische Kurkapelle Schwarz-Rot, Hauck & Bauer
19.05.

Literature
In German

What profound things can one say about the Black-Red Bolshevik health spa orchestra? You just have to listen to them and dance along. Die Reformbühne Heim & Welt (roughly: Stage of Reform – Home and World) has been friends with this musician collective for years, and they've invited each other to their events this way and that: sometimes Jakob Hein and Ahne read their musical stories of suffering with the saxophone or with God at their concerts, sometimes the entire orchestra plays at the Reformbühne, and, by the last song at the very latest, the gentleman authors are belting it out with them. It definitely gets very crowded on stage.

And what profound things can one say about Hauck & Bauer? This cartoonist duo draws for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung and Titanic magazine, and has snapped up pretty much all the awards for caricatures that can be won in this country. Whoever doesn't outfit their year with a Hauck&Bauer calender is doomed to be a poor wretch – or as a small consolation they can come to the Roter Salon, where both cartoonists will project a selection of their best and latest images, reading out every single speech bubble.


Since January 1995, the Reformbühne Heim & Welt has taken place – under its perpetual motto “the best is something new” – every Sunday, but really every damn Sunday, in order to share with the audience stories and songs, agitation and propaganda, jokes and whims, as well as the best and rest.

This is where Ahne carries out his weekly dialogues with God, where psychiatrist Jakob Hein gets to know real insanity and gathers material for his new novels and screenplays. This is where Falko Hennig's career as writing and blues singing rickshaw driver and novelist began, where Jürgen Witte keeps trying to communicate the essentials of the global economy to his ignorant colleagues, where reptile researcher Heiko Werning has the opportunity to observe truly strange creatures, and where writer Roman Israel proves that Saxons can actually melt the hearts of the Berlin masses.

Every Sunday new texts, every Sunday new guests, every Sunday literature, satire, poetry slam and music. Every Sunday two hours of Heim und Welt in the Roter Salon.

Everyone should come, then there'll be more space somewhere else.

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Past Activities

Reformbühne Heim & Welt With: Masha Potempa & Katharina Greve

“Music-poetry, chanson, song-maker, poetry slam” – these are the key words Masha Potempa uses to attempt to categorize herself and we also don't know how to define her any more concretely, because she's simply very versatile and surreally good, so we'll just say: she plays great songs on the guitar! Raised with the waters of the lower Rhine, she weaves her texts out of irony and melancholy. She mixes Balkanesque melodies with lyrical verses and shows that fragility is a strength.

Katharina Greve has sketched out an entire high-rise building floor for floor, and in each flat, an entire universe of everyday humour and lunacy emerges in two, three speech bubbles. The Titanic cartoonist and projector of witty images has drawn graphic novels about patchwork families and takeaway owners, published comic strips about gardeners and teachers and will put up a wild selection of her work on the screen in the Roter Salon. Because the speech bubbles of her cartoons are even better when she reads them herself.

Reformbühne Heim & Welt Mit: Lea Streisand, Richie & Bel

„Geschichten aus der großen Stadt“ (Stories from the Big City) is the name of Lea Streisand's column on Radio Eins, and that's exactly what the Urberliner lady of the literary stage writes, in a flippant tone and with a big heart. Besides that she has a column in the taz newspaper and writes novels. Im Sommer wieder Fahrrad (I'll Cycle Again in the Summer) is a moving story about a young woman with cancer who, in her memories of her actress grandmother, finds her way through her crisis, and a fresh manuscript will have just been handed in (hopefully) to her publisher so we're hoping to already be able to hear a bit out of that.

Richie & Bel are an Israeli songwriter duo that met as buskers in Tel Aviv and decided to join forces. Two voices, two guitars and perfect harmonies, with songs about life and love. Their first tour together took them to India and now there's only one place that can top that: the Roter Salon!

Reformbühne Heim & Welt With: Jacinta Nandi & Robert der Schlagerstar

Warning, explicit lyrics. When Jacinta Nandi takes to the stage, there's not a dry eye left in the house, because there was definitely a little bit of sperm that just squirted into them. No one writes as charmingly, and with an English accent, about hardcore sex, feminism and racism as the Brexit-plagued Londoner that lives in Berlin and has some kind of Indian roots. Above all else it's her amazing sense of humour that finds entertainment even in tragedies.

As a musical counter-programme we're presenting Robert der Schlagerstar, the only contender equal to Heintje and Roy Black, if both of them dug themselves out of their graves, snorted a few lines of coke and then climbed up to the stage to once again, just like the old times, sing their hearts out.

Reformbühne Heim & Welt With: Konrad Endler, Andreas Kampa und Frollein

For years the Chaussee der Enthusiasten (Avenue of the Enthusiasts) in RAW-Tempel was one of the greatest literary events in the capital, with stars like Jochen Schmidt, Volker Strübing and Kirsten Fuchs emerging from its womb. But one sad day, “the most beautiful writers in Berlin” decided to stop “telling some stories” as they always had, and ended it. Done. Finito. The End. The Reformbühne Heim & Welt (roughly: Stage of Reform – Home and World) is all the more delighted that their lengthy secret negotiations succeeded in tempting one of the enthusiasts, who's gone underground since it ended, to return to the red light of the Roter Salon: Andreas Kampa graces us with his presence!

Frollein, in contrast, is right at the beginning of her career. She's toured around Germany's poetry-slam stages with her guitar and her distinctive vocals, recorded a first album and was THE new discovery of the Reformbühne last year, and not only because the average age on stage plummets into the abyss when she's there.

Reformbühne Heim & Welt With: René Marik & Jana Berwig

“If Helge Schneider were to take over the Muppet-Show and employ Kurt Schwitters as a screenwriter, then that'd result in just about the same thing as what René Marik gets up to with his hand puppets. The mini dramas that he performs with his puppets are thoroughly fascinating.” – that's according to the press, in this case the Berliner Zeitung newspaper, and who are we, in these times of those who scream Fake News, to doubt that kind of judgment? Thus we're looking forward to welcoming a mole to the Roter Salon and hearing about his life underground, and with a bit of luck we'll also hear something read by his owner.

Something will definitely be sung by Jana Berwig, the golden voice of Prague, rubbish: Thuringia, who just released her new album Señorita, on which she sings sometimes in English, sometimes in German, but always insightfully and with an enchanting beauty about nothing else but life itself. She proved that people want to listen to her music by funding her new album through crowdfunding. And now the crowd in the Roter Salon has to opportunity to find out why that was such a good thing.

Reformbühne Heim & Welt With: The Incredible Herrengedeck & Rupprecht Mayer

These three gentlemen describe themselves as “the finest Berliner Chanson Punk”, and what can we say to that? Besides: yep, it's true. Very fine. Very Berliner. Very chanson-esque. Very punk. And in all that, they forgot to mention very funny and extremely sexy. With contrabass, guitar and keys. And those unforgettable voices! The Incredible Herrengedeck! The gentlemen of the Reformbühne (roughly: Stage of Reform) won't skimp on the “Herrengedeck” shot/beer combinations this evening.

There's certainly not too many guests that would be capable of reciting their stories at the Reformbühne in some kind of Chinese. That's why we're so proud to host one of them in the Roter Salon this evening: Rupprecht Mayer translates Chinese and is otherwise just about everything that a clever mind can be: art historian, gallerist, lecturer, interpreter, book dealer – but above all else, in its most classic form: storyteller. And that's why he's our guest this evening.

Reformbühne Heim & Welt: With Eva Mirasol and André Herzberg

By day she makes people well again as a doctor, by night she shatters their well-made worlds on the city's Lesebühne stages: Eva Mirasol is a regular member of the “Rakete 2000” and “LSD – Liebe statt Drogen” stages, where she reports on everyday challenges as well as the adventures of a career as a doctor.

As the singer in the East Berlin band Pankow, André Herzberg has been in the business for a few years now, as we old hands in show business like to say. In the meantime, he's written many well-respected novels and just released a solo album titled Was aus uns geworden ist (What we've become). We're looking forward to inquiring personally about the latter and thus eagerly await his guest performance at the Reformbühne Heim & Welt (roughly: Stage of Reform – Home and World), this time in the Grüner Salon for a change.

Reformbühne Heim & Welt: With Christoph Theussl and Rigoletti

Christoph Theussl comes from Vienna and sings like someone who comes from Vienna: with biting humour, charm and a yearning for death. That's probably why he moved to Berlin for a while, but after he attested to his girlfriend “you are so German to me”, he settled in Munich where he's been plying the craft of the Lesebühne reading at the Schwabinger Schaumschläger every week ever since. Fortunately this very craft brings him back to his former adopted home every now and again, and therefore, of course, to his old friends at the Reformbühne Heim & Welt (roughly: Stage of Reform – Home and World).

Rigoletti is already working hard on the project of dismantling the Berlin city palace, in plain language: its explosion. But until that day finally comes, she's spending her time with us and fantastic, hilarious films, a few of which she'll present on the screen in the Roter Salon.

Reformbühne Heim & Welt: With Sarah Bosetti and Karl Neukauf

Regardless of whether it's with her programme on Radio 1, as a guest on TV shows such as Die Anstalt and Ladies Night, as an author of books or presenter of poetry slams and Lesebühnen (stages for readings), Sarah Bosetti combines humour with clever observations, feminist necessities and everyday coping strategies. And she's a good liar as well, as the title of her most recent book shows: Ich bin sehr hübsch, das sieht man nur nicht so (I'm very pretty, you just can't see it). Because it can actually be seen, and you can prove that to yourself now at the Reformbühne Heim & Welt (roughly: Stage of Reform – Home and World).

Reformbühne Heim & Welt: With Katrin Freiburghaus and Sebastian Krämer

At poetry slams she takes to the stage and sweeps up one title after the other, with her band The Baby and the Dog she produces hit singles, and now Katrin Freiburghaus is finally coming from Munich to join us in the Roter Salon, to gift us with a bit of her star power through texts and music.

“Blithe elegies” on the piano are on offer from Sebastian Krämer, even if he sings of dead children's rooms that have remained frozen in time. No one has so movingly, as a future homeowner, spun verses about gentrification as the award-winning Krämer (champion, best of small stage, on a list of best songs etc) – he was also the German champion poetry slammer, back when slams where still in small clubs etc. For the past 25 years Krämer has impressed with masterful musicality, vocals, and his polished art of words (in the old orthography), and he's been a faithful and cherished guest at the Reformbühne Heim & Welt (roughly: Stage of Reform – Home and World), where we’re fortunate enough to have him show up every now and then.

Reformbühne Heim & Welt: With Christian Gottschalk and Fil

In his home town of Cologne, Christian Gottschalk hosts the Vereinigung der Freunde des Münzfernglases (Federation of Friends of Coin-operated Binoculars), a task that's so all encompassing that he has no time left to leave the city on the Rhine. We'd have no idea of his wonderful stories and his past life as a blues singer if there wasn't a strange custom in his home town that sends him into exile every year because, according to his description, it turns the entire city into apocalyptic ruins. They call it Karneval. Berliners have no interest in this tradition whatsoever, and can now rejoice at this disconcerting annual phenomenon because it means that we're blessed with an appearance from Christian Gottschalk.

The Reformbühne Heim & Welt (roughly: Stage of Reform – Home and World) has always understood one of its duties to be providing young, hopeful artists with the opportunity to try their material. Thus we're especially excited to welcome a young man by the name of Fil, who apparently sometimes appears with a guitar, sometimes with a cuddly toy shark, occasionally draws a small picture and in general is supposed to be very funny. We'll find out!

Reformbühne Heim & Welt: With Sarah Schmidt and Sven van Thom

For decades Sarah Schmidt was a regular fixture on Berlin's Lesebühne stages for authors, including a stint as a regular member of the Reformbühne Heim & Welt (roughly: Stage of Reform – Home and World) in the 90s. She effortlessly distinguished herself in this male-dominated scene, the audience loved her flippantly clever short stories. In recent years she's expanded her oeuvre to include acclaimed novels. Eine Tonne für Frau Scholz (A Bin for Mrs Scholz, 2014, Verbrecher-Verlag) was a surprise hit and suddenly the Suhrkamp publishing house snapped up this new star author, releasing her Weit weg ist anders (Far Away Is Different) in 2017. And far away is actually different, because now she's very close once again – at her old Lesebühne.

When he participated in Stefan Raab's Bundesvision Song Contest that one time, Sven van Thom mostly evoked irritation. He was someone who didn't make music that was plastic at all, but real songs instead and they were also funny. The mainstream music industry had no use for him, but he also didn't need them. Together with his kindred spirit Gotti, their duo Tiere streicheln Menschen (Animals Pet People) sells out rooms around the country. And now they're coming to the Roter Salon.

Reformbühne Heim & Welt: With Susanne Riedel and Johanna Zeul

Susanne Riedel is proof that Lesebühnen (stages for authors) can continue to shed their skins and reinvent themselves, even when they've been around for 30 years. Because for just about a year she's been part of Berlin's oldest stage, the Frühschoppen, where she, between Horst Evers & co., thoroughly shook up the place and took the audience's hearts by storm. And that's exactly what she'll probably succeed in doing in her first appearance at the Reformbühne Heim & Welt (roughly: Stage of Reform – Home and World) in the Roter Salon!

Anyone who still has doubts about our ability to switch to renewable energy hasn't experienced Johanna Zeul yet. A woman with the power of three and a half average thermal power stations, she storms the stage with her pop-y songs, snotty charm and a resilience that makes the Reformbühne's older gents sweat just by watching her. So: calibrate your pacemakers beforehand, don't forget your sedatives – and head to the Roter Salon!

Reformbühne Heim & Welt: With Franziska Hauser and Sedlmeir

Nominated for the 2018 German Book Prize, Die Gewitterschwimmerin (The Thunder-Storm Swimmer) is the title of the latest novel by Franziska Hauser and follows a family's story over a century. Born in Pankow in 1975, this recent release shows Hauser's command of epic material. But pretty much anyone can write a long book, even Martin Walser. At the Reformbühne Heim & Welt (roughly: Stage of Reform – Home and World), Hauser aims to show that she can also shine in short, humorous forms. But that's really no secret, since she's the co-host of a monthly Lesebühne (stage for authors): DEO – des Esels Ohr. That she's also a photographer – well, that's also true. Above all else, the Reformbühne is looking forward to welcoming an author they revere as a wonderful reader.

Gonzo rock 'n' roll was established by Sedlmeir at the beginning of the 00s and he's been continually developing it ever since. In a way that's similar to gonzo journalism, convention isn't a characteristic of gonzo rock 'n' roll. Instead the gonzo rock 'n' roller puts his own interpretation in the foreground. He sings in a radically subjective manner, with strong emotions and intentional exaggerations, blurring the border between reality and fiction. Sarcasm, insults, pseudo facts, Dada, humour and quotes are all used as stylistic elements. According to criteria established in music studies, gonzo rock 'n' roll is more that just a form of music, it's also an art. As predecessors to his gonzo rock 'n' roll, Sedlmeir has cited bands such as Trio, Kraftwerk and the Ramones. One thing is certain: every truth is just a temporary truth. And in the end, no one knows if that's actually true.

Reformbühne Heim & Welt: With Max Rademann und Spider

When Max Rademann left the fabled piece of land called the Erzgebirge, he moved out to move to the big, dirty, cosmopolitan city. To Dresden. That's where he's been residing for the past 14 years, wondering if this really is the big, dirty metropolis. But in any case the same saying applies to Dresden as to New York City: If you can make it there, you'll make it anywhere. With popular hits composed on the electric organ, Rademann gives it his all as an entertainer on the stages of the Saxon metropolis, whistling the sparrows away from the Zwinger palace and even making Lutz Bachmann secretly tap his foot.

Spider, on the other hand, actually knows everything: how to let his money work for him, how it's going in the unemployment park, where the last flatshare can be found in Prenzlauer Berg. These are the subjects of his reports on stage and in his books (published by Voland & Quist). As a founding member of LSD - Liebe statt Drogen (love instead of drugs), he's been one of the formative figures of the Berlin Lesebühne (stages for readings) scene for more than twenty years – and yet he's still quite natural! Just like his name.

Reformbühne Heim & Welt: With Daniela Böhle and Manfred Maurenbrecher

For the end of the celebrations for their 23rd birthday and debut month in the Roter Salon, the Reformbühne has invited two old comrades: Daniela Böhle was a member for years and her leaving broke the hearts of her abandoned colleagues so severely that, ever since, they haven't been able to handle a woman at their side for long. The Queen of Long Short Stories has still remained connected to her old male circle as a corresponding member and let her experiences with these childlike minds flow into her successful children's book Mein bisher bestes Jahr (My Best Year Yet).

Manfred Maurenbrecher was one of the founding members of the Reformbühne Heim & Welt (roughly: Stage of Reform – Home and World) in 1995. This songwriter monolith and winner of virtually every songwriter prize multiple times (in a tragic misunderstanding, the Nobel Prize for Literature inadvertently went to his colleague Bob Dylan recently) left his electric piano to the Reformbühne – which they've played to his memory ever since. Today it's set up for its old master himself once again.

Reformbühne Heim & Welt: With Wladimir Kaminer, Michael Hatzius

There was a time when Wladimir Kaminer tried out his first stories every Sunday at the Heim & Welt Reformbühne (roughly: Stage of Reform – Home and World); he was a permanent member of the group for years. Now he returns to visit his old friends at their new location in the Roter Salon. Germany's favourite Russian after Gorbachev and favourite disco provider after Ilja Richter definitely has some brand new, unpublished stories up his sleeve.

Michael Hatzius usually has something completely different up his sleeve: his lizard. It explains the world to him and is quite excited about meeting a proven reptile expert – Reformbühne member Heiko Werning. Thus we're looking forward to a specialist herpetological discussion from an unusual perspective. Maybe there'll even be some tasty cockroaches or grasshoppers for a snack.

Since there's no musical guest to prevent the worst from happening this time, the reformers themselves will probably have to sing. It could still turn out to be a nice evening.

Reformbühne Heim & Welt: With Uli Hannemann, Lüül

Uli Hannemann had to endure long, humbling years in Neukölln and as a permanent member of the Heim & Welt Reformbühne (roughly: Stage of Reform – Home and World). Then his liberation came: He published bestsellers such as Neulich in Neukölln (The other day in Neukölln) or Hipster wird’s nicht (It doesn't get more hipster) and finally managed to leave the Reformbühne. In order to convince himself that his decision was correct, of course he'd like to check out his ex-colleagues in their new location – bringing along some stories about his new life in freedom and riches as well.

His life is so rich that it would have been enough to fill several: Lüül toured the world as a street musician, with the 17 Hippies and his partner Nico, model and punk/wave/goth icon of the 50s, 60s and 70s (he also recently published a book about all this). He played with legendary bands such as Agitation Free and Ashra, helped shape the Neue Deutsche Welle (“Morgens in der U-Bahn”, Mornings in the Subway) and, above all else, he's simply an excellent guy and an always welcome guest at the Reformbühne.

Reformbühne Heim & Welt: With Moses Wolff, Frieder Butzmann

Exactly 24 years ago, in January 1995, the Reformbühne Heim & Welt (roughly: Stage of Reform – Home and World) was founded in Schokoladen in Berlin and since then it's presented an audience ranging from excited to disturbed with fresh texts and well-hung chansons as an alternative programme to Tatort every Sunday, really every damn Sunday. In a fitting act for their 23rd birthday, the reformers of the literature scene are moving into their new home – the Volksbühne's Roter Salon. The lightly greying gentlemen have undergone a brutal live-cell therapy and present their new member for the first time, the young Saxon Roman Israel, who'll astronomically boost their sexiness factor and radically reduce their average age. Everyone should come, then there'll be more space somewhere else!

Moses Wolff: Moses Wolff can usually be found every Sunday at the legendary Schwabinger Schaumschlägern readings in the Vereinsheim in Munich, however, for the premiere of the Reformbühne Heim & Welt in the Roter Salon, the Ur-Bavarian actor, comedian, novelist and “Torrent-Toni” is coming to Berlin, in order to take the spotlight here with his odd sketches and furious stories. Maybe he's only gathering material for his next novel – with Schrippen-Blues he already tackled the capital as a subject, otherwise his literary home is on the “Highway to Hellas”, sending his Bavarian detective Hans Josef Strauß as “Monaco Infernale” through Munich and, oh yes, he also makes films.

Frieder Butzmann: The legend from West Berlin in the 80s -- one of the many genius dilettantes -- musician, performance activist, sound artist who integrates his hearing aids, paper clips and a tube into his musical presentations – extremely odd and beautiful.

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