The Berliner Ensemble 'Coriolanus'

Scope and Content

Coriolanus, von William Shakespeare in der Bearbeitung von Bertolt Brecht, 1964. Buhnenfassung des Berliner Ensemble. Musik: Paul Dellau. Regie: Manfred Wekwerth / Joachim Tenscher. Ausstattung: Karl v. Appen. Premiere: 24 September 1964.

Two volumes on Bertolt Brecht's adaptation of Coriolanus, including the text of the Brecht-Shakespeare play and a volume containing 500-600 captioned photographs of the play in performance, staged by the Berliner Ensemble in 1964.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Berliner Ensemble was founded by Bertolt Brecht and Helene Weigel in 1949, following the much acclaimed production of Brecht's play Mother Courage. After Brecht's return from exile the company first worked at Wolfgang Langhoff's Deutsches Theater (Schumannstrasse). In 1954, it moved to its own home at the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm. Here Brecht directed his plays The Caucasian Chalk Circle and, together with Erich Engel, The Life of Galileo. After Brecht's death in 1956, Helene Weigel continued as the company's artistic manager. Productions included The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Coriolanus and The Mother. Ruth Berghaus became artistic director in the 1970s. Manfred Wekwerth replaced her as artistic director in 1977. In 1992, under the new artistic management of Matthias Langhoff, Fritz Marquardt, Heiner Maller, Peter Palitzsch, and Peter Zadek, the Berliner Ensemble changed from a state-owned theater into a private, limited company subsidized by the city government. Maller died in December 1995, and Claus Peymann was appointed as director / manager, and re-opened the theatre in January 2000 following extensive renovation work.

Reference: University of Birmingham, Special Collections Department, Online Archive Catalogue ( Accessed May 2002.

Access Information

Open. Access to all registered researchers.

Other Finding Aids

A catalogue is available in electronic format on the University of Birmingham Special Collections website: A paper catalogue to file and item level is available in the Shakespeare Institute Library.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the University Archivist, Special Collections. Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Special Collections will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.


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Corporate Names