Press Release 01/08/2020

Press Release 8 January 2020


The Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch is re-staging Pina Bausch’s two-part Brecht/Weill evening “The Seven Deadly Sins” in March 2020. Guest stars include: Ute Lemper, Meret Becker, Melissa Madden Gray, Johanna Wokalek, Erika Skrotzki and Steffen Laube.


Booking opens in Wuppertal on 10 January 2020 at 10am.


In Wuppertal, the Brecht/Weill evening will be performed in collaboration with the Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra, singers from the Wuppertal Opera and guest stars. The conductor is Jan Michael Horstmann. The production has also been invited by the Théâtre de la Ville to perform at the re-opened Théâtre du Châtelet, accompanied by the Ensemble Intercontemporain.


The two-part evening counts among the highlights of Pina Bausch’s oeuvre. It includes the ballet “The Seven Deadly Sins” to a libretto by Bertolt Brecht, which was first performed at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in 1933 in a choreography by George Balanchine. The second part is Pina Bausch’s musical collage “Don’t be afraid”, featuring a selection of hit songs from Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, Happy End, The Threepenny Opera and The Berlin Requiem.

She experimented with a variety of genres, combined singing, dancing and dance theatre, ignored the boundaries between art forms and allowed dancers from her ensemble to perform as actors and singers.

The result is a Brechtian blend of biting social commentary that oscillates between the abyss of human despair on the one hand and soaring hopefulness on the other, contrasted by the sheer joy of dance and underpinned by memories of variety shows and cabaret.


Artistic Director Bettina Wagner-Bergelt was able to bring an international cast of exceptional actors and singers to Wuppertal for the re-staging in 2020: Ute Lemper, Meret Becker, Melissa Madden Gray, Johanna Wokalek, Erika Skrotzki and Steffen Laube.


New York City-based artist Ute Lemper is world-renowned for her interpretations of Berlin cabaret songs, works by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht and chansons by Marlene Dietrich, Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel, Léo Ferré, Astor Piazzolla and others. She has been singing Brecht/Weill all over the world for more than 35 years. Her own compositions and performances in musicals and plays on Broadway and in Paris, Berlin and London have been met with great acclaim. 25 years ago, she performed in Part II of Pina Bausch’s evening of dance.


Meret Becker – actress, composer, singer and performer – captivates audiences with her albums, countless concerts and live appearances in ever new constellations with international guest artists ranging from Nina Hagen to Max Raabe. At the same time, she has appeared in many films and received several awards, including the Adolf-Grimme Prize, the Bavarian Film Prize, Golden Camera and the ‘Filmband in Gold’. In 2001, Pina Bausch invited her to perform in “Don’t be afraid”.


Johanna Wokalek has worked with international theatre directors including Luc Bondy, Andrea Breth, Peter Zadek and starred in many feature films. One of her most recent successes was the title role in Sönke Wortmann’s period drama “Pope Joan”. In 2018, she performed the role of Mechthild Großmann in the re-staging of Pina Bausch’s piece “He takes her by the hand and leads her into the castle, the others follow” in Wuppertal.


Originally from Australia and now living in New York, the singer, multimedia artist and “kamikaze cabaret performer” Melissa Madden Gray first appeared in “The Seven Deadly Sins” in 2008, on the invitation of Pina Bausch. She also presented an impressive comedic and ironic evening of chansons and cabaret at the “International Dance Festival NRW 2008 – 3 weeks with Pina Bausch”. She will perform the role of Mechthild Großmann in “Don’t be afraid”.


The actress Erika Skrotzki will appear in “Don’t be afraid”. She has performed at the Städtische Bühnen Köln, the Thalia Theater in Hamburg, Theater Düsseldorf, Schauspiel Bochum and many others, while also working on TV productions such as “Soko Leipzig”, “Der Landarzt” and others. She has been performing her own solo cabaret and chanson programmes since 1984.


The actor Steffen Laube made his stage debut at the State Theatre Karlsruhe, followed by engagements at the State Theatre Karlsruhe-Wiesbaden-Koblenz and in Bonn. He has been working as a freelance actor and director since 2004, well-known for his appearances in over 50 TV productions including Tatort and Kika. In 2014 he was awarded the Monica Bleibtreu Award for comedy.


Josephine Ann Endicott, who was part of the original cast, will oversee the re-staging together with Julie Shanahan, assisted by Bénedicte Billiet.




7, 8, 10, 13, 14, 15 March 2020

7.30pm/6pm on Sundays and bank holidays

Running time 2 hours 15 min including one interval


Opernhaus Wuppertal

Kurt-Drees Str. 4, 42283 Wuppertal


Tickets 15/30/40/50 Euro

Book online at

Phone booking Kulturkarte +49 (0) 202 563 7666

Booking opens on 10 January at 10am


The Seven Deadly Sins

Dance Evening by Pina Bausch

Texts by Bertolt Brecht

Music by Kurt Weill


Musical direction: Jan Michael Horstmann

Staging and choreography: Pina Bausch

Sets and costumes: Rolf Borzik

Collaboration: Marion Cito, Hans Pop

Re-staging: Josephine Ann Endicott, Julie Shanahan

Assistance: Bénédicte Billiet, assisted by Matthias Burkert


Accompanied by the Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra


Part I

Kurt Weill: The Seven Deadly Sins

Ballet chanté

Text by Bertolt Brecht

Version for a deep female voice, arranged by Wilhelm Brückner-Rüggeberg


The family: Mark Bowman-Hester, Sebastian Campione, Sangmin Jeon, Simon Stricker*


Anna I Meret Becker*/Ute Lemper*

Anna II Stephanie Troyak


Part II

Don’t be afraid

A piece by Pina Bausch

Featuring songs from “The Threepenny Opera”, “A Little Threepenny Music”, “Happy End”, “The Berlin Requiem” and “Rise and Fall of the City Mahagonny”

Part II


Meret Becker, Melissa Madden Gray, Johanna Wokalek, Erika Skrotzki and Steffen Laube


Dancers in Part I and II:

Emma Barrowman, Andrey Berezin, Michael Carter, Léonor Clary*, Maria Giovanna Delle Donne*, Jonathan Fredrickson, Milan Nowoitnick Kampfer, Nayoung Kim, Daphnis Kokkinos, Yosuke Kusano*, Martina La Ragione*, Marius Ledwig*, Eddie Martinez, Blanca Noguerol Ramírez, Breanna O´Mara, Nazareth Panadero, Daria Pavlenko*, Franko Schmidt, Azusa Seyama, Julie Shanahan, Julie Anne Stanzak, Oleg Stepanov, Julian Stierle, Michael Strecker, Christopher Tandy, Tsai-Wei Tien, Stephanie Troyak, Ophelia Young, Tsai-Chin Yu