Contemporary Circus in Berlin

Hackesche Höfe, Berlin Mitte

Chamäleon Theater

The Chamäleon in Berlin

In the heart of Berlin you will find Chamäleon. This is the German centre of gravity of the ‘new’ circus; showcasing dazzling performances featuring acrobatics, theatre, dance, audiovisual presentations, storytelling and music.

This is a circus with a modern twist. I am glad to say that an important player missing from the traditional travelling circus is the circus animal. And also there is no tent. Which means that the venue remains the same, but what changes are the shows and the artists. Innovative circus performers from all over the world flock to Berlin for a few months to a year to perform at the Chamäleon theatre.

Hackesche Höfe

The theatre is located on Hackesche Höfe, a historic courtyard built during the Belle Epoque. This complex miraculously survived the Second World War almost unscathed. In addition to the Chamäleon theatre, there are various restaurants, apartments, offices and cafés on the square. It is within walking distance of the Hackescher Markt train station. A vaulted entrance on Rosenthaler Straße provides acces to the square, where you also find the box office.

Circus with a modern twist

The Jugendstil courtyard was built in 1906. The stage has been erected in what used to be a  ballroom for the Berlin elite at the beginning of the last century. The grandeur of yesteryear revives in the theatre café with a renovated oak parquet, red velvet curtains and a grand balcony. Even the toilets still have Art Nouveau details in place, a feast for the senses, well in anycase the visually, if not the smellling.

During the show one can nip at a prosecco, a gin & tonic or a beer at the candle lit tables. A snack is also possible. How about a grilled falafel sandwich, bruschetta, or Burgundy beef stew? Service continues during the show.

The doors open 45 minutes before the start of the show and the guests can linger for at least an hour after the performance has finished.

Chamäleon Berlin theatre

Showtime in het theater

A new circus show is staged every few to six months. I visited ‘Memories of Fools‘, a production of Cirk La Putyka from Prague. The performance depicts a modern fairy tale about a boy who dreams about a career as an astronaut. A Czech team of two women and seven men combine acrobatics,  music, dance and theatre with slapstick.

Guitars and drums draw you into the story, whilst acrobats reminiscent of olympic gold medallists appear to be on speed. The two female artists regularly seem to challenge the laws of gravity, hanging on a hoop in which they do all sorts of things that I would not even dare on the floor, let alone be physically capable of and of course dancing muscular males are of course always a pleasure to watch. 

Practical tips

Children

The show welcomes little ones, but it is not aimed at children.

Show times start

  • Tuesday – Friday at 8 pm
  • Saturday 6 pm & 9:30 pm
  • Sunday 6 pm

Ticket sales

Tickets can be bought online or at the box office. The tickets cost from 28 Euro for a reduced rate (students, children, pensionados, disabled and unemployed) to 59 euros for the best seats.

Public transport

  • Train (S-Bahn) Hackescher Markt: S3, S5, S7, S75. The station is a few hundred meters from the theatre.
  • Metro (U-bahn) U8
  • Bus line 348
  • Tram line M1, M4, M5, M6

Parking

  • Q-Park Alexanderstr./Bebelplatz
  • Parkhaus ALexa APCOA
  • Busparkplätze Dircksenstraβe

Gastronomy

  • Chamäleon: food and drink are served before, during and after the show. This is not cheap (think € 6.80 for a glass of wine) but tasty.
  • Hackescher Höfe, on the courtyard are several restaurants.
  • Combine the visit to the theatre with the Hackescher markt. A pleasant square next to the train station. During the day there is a lively market. If you are on a budget, buy a currywurst (€ 2.50), combine with fries and you are set for the evening. There is also a wide choice of restaurants and cafes with outdoor seating on the square.
Hackescher Markt Berlin

So you know

I was invited by Chamäleon to visit and review the show on my blog. 

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Showtime at the contemporary Circus Chamäleon in Berlin

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