Boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen, come closer and step into the magic wonderland of Berlin! Be prepared for a freakshow hotel, men on burning stilts, jugglers, a punk in a shopping cart, candy cotton, people dancing in a fountain, and much more as I take you along my Berlin summer full of spectacles. Join me on a journey through the Megaspree rally, the "Berlin lacht!" street theatre festival and Circus Chiarivari!
1. Megaspree rally
In Berlin an everyday summer day can turn into a theatre spectacle with all the street musicians and art(ists) and crazily dressed up people around. But there is much more, so I would love to take you with me back to my summer full of circus joys in this magical city! Let’s get started and head towards our first location without further ado: Only in this city, a political rally such as the Megaspree rally can end up with people getting naked and jumping into the Neptun fountain at Alexanderplatz, dancing wildly to electronic music. This is where our journey shall start.
More information here: http://www.megaspree.de
2. Berlin lacht!
But of course, in a city as vibrant as Berlin, there are also „real“ street theatre events apart from such improvised spontaneity. So let’s grab our best red nose and move on to the “Berlin lacht!” festivals dedicated to uncommercial street theatre. They take place three times during the Summer: first, at Mariannenplatz close to the formerly squatted hospital Bethanien, a place in front of which squatters and the police fought massively over the occupied building back in the days and which now houses the home base of the festival and another squat.
The second takes place at Alexanderplatz where you can see the TV Tower while watching all kinds of jugglars, acrobats and mime artists perform.
Finally, the third one takes place at Breitscheidplatz just next to the Memorial Church which was bombed down in World War II and which hasn’t been build up ever since in order to function as a memorial site. I haven’t been able to check out this one, but since the festival(s) take place every year, it’s easy to catch up with that next year!
So if you are into clowns, jugglers, acrobats and magicians you should definetely come by and take your children along. And if you don’t have any (like me), just turn yourself into a child, because that’s just so easy and fun at such magical places!
More information here: http://berlin-lacht.com
3. Circus Chiarivari
After all the spontaneity and political commitment at the Megaspree rally and the ‘childish’ fun stuff (and cotton candy!) at Berlin lacht!, I guess we are ready for some grotesque freaks and curiosities!
I found this at Circus Chiarivari which hosted a freak show hotel, a cabinet of curiosities and various circus shows for two weeks this Summer.
They put up their tent just next to an old abandoned building near Ostbahnhof, turned it into the “freak show hotel” and had all kinds of performers do crazy music events, puppet shows and freak shows there.
Unfortunately, I only had my digital cam with me during the night show, but I can tell you that I saw a guy in a life-size flower costume doing karaoke, people in huge furry fish and bull costumes, clowns and acrobats and even a balded and heavily tattooed guy hammer a nail into his nose!
Rumour has it that they will return with an even better and larger freakshow next year, so if you’re in town, be sure not to miss it. However, be prepared, because only the bravest can stand these freak shows!
More information here: http://www.circuscharivari.de