Verrückt nach Trost

Thorsten Lensing

World premiere: 6 August 2022, Salzburger Festspiele

A woman and a man in summer clothes are sitting on the floor. Behind them is a huge metal pipe.

Verrückt nach Trost © Armin Smailovic

Charlotte and Felix are mourning the loss of their parents. In director Thorsten Lensing’s first self-written play, actors Sebastian Blomberg, André Jung, Ursina Lardi and Devid Striesow trace the siblings’ lives through surreal, moving and funny episodes from childhood to old age.

Two children are playing the “Mama and Papa-game” on the beach: Siblings Felix and Charlotte invented this ritual in remembrance of their deceased parents, trying to give expression to their yearning for love and comfort. In the first part of Thorsten Lensing’s celebrated production “Verrückt nach Trost”, the children’s exuberant imagination allows all grief for their parents to dissipate for a moment. Over the course of the show, the audience accompanies the siblings over several decades, experiencing their equally funny, surreal and moving episodes. They are dealing with nothing less than life in the face of death, the fear of not having found one’s own way and the great yearning for the feeling of being truly alive.

Director Thorsten Lensing has been staging independent theatre productions since the mid-1990s, mostly in co-production with theatres and festivals including Sophiensæle in Berlin, Kampnagel Hamburg, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm in Frankfurt, Theater im Pumpenhaus in Münster, Grand Théâtre de la Ville de Luxembourg, Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen, Schauspiel Stuttgart, Schauspielhaus Zürich and deSingel in Antwerp. He always works with a fixed group of freelance actors. After stage-adaptations of Fyodor M. Dostoevsky’s novel “The Brothers Karamazov” and David Foster Wallace’s “Infinite Jest” (invited to the 2019 Theatertreffen of Berliner Festspiele), “Verrückt nach Trost” is Thorsten Lensing’s first self-written piece for the theatre. He wrote it for a first-rate cast of long-time artistic companions: Sebastian Blomberg, André Jung, Ursina Lardi and Devid Stresow embody grieving children, talking octopuses, divers with a death-wish, people who are unable to feel their own body, cows on the day of slaughter, nursing robots and the moribund who wait for their death in old-age homes. The presentation of “Verrückt nach Trost” at the Festspielhaus marks the beginning of a long-term co-operation of Berliner Festspiele with the Berlin-based theatre director and author whose productions have been successfully shown across Europe. 


Artistic Team

Thorsten Lensing –  Director
Benjamin Eggers-DomskyCo-Director
Gordian Blumenthal, Ramun CapaulStage Design
Anette GutherCostume Design
Dan Kolber, Thierry MoussetDramaturgy

Anne Inken BickertAssistant Director
Nuria Heyck, Luisa Puschendorf, Marie FischerAssistants Costume Designer
Eva-Karen TittmannProduction Management
Martina SchulleManagement Poduction Stage
Michael Klatt, Dirk LutzTechnical Directors
Titus MaderlechnerSound Design
Benjamin Eggers (Panthea)Inspection Subtitles
Charlotte WührerTranslation Subtitles


Sebastian Blomberg, André Jung, Ursina Lardi, Devid Striesow

A co-production of Salzburger Festspiele and Thorsten Lensing with Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, Sophiensæle Berlin, Kampnagel Hamburg, Theater Chur, asphalt Festival Düsseldorf, Theater im Pumpenhaus Münster, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm Frankfurt am Main.
With the kind support of Hauptstadtkulturfonds Berlin and the city of Münster.