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“the combined technical mise-en-scène is in flawless harmony with the indefatigable actors and at times also within their hands”


A new stage adaptation of Heinrich von Kleist’s classic novella about a man prepared to go to extremes to secure justice.

Horse trader Michael Kohlhaas is on his way to Dresden to sell his horses at market when he is asked to show his travel permit at a new checkpoint. But Kohlhaas doesn’t have a pass and didn’t know he needed one. Agreeing to leave behind two horses as a guarantee that he will acquire the necessary pass and display it on his return, he proceeds to Dresden – where he discovers that the pass does not exist. When Kohlhaas returns, he finds his horses half-starved and his servant banished from the castle. This sets in motion a quest for justice which sees Kohlhaas take on the bureaucracy and nepotism of the establishment with obsessive determination. 

Directed by Simon McBurney and Annabel Arden, the production explores resistance, violence, and the power of individual and collective action.

Premiered in July 2021. Now playing in rep at the Schaubühne.
Tickets and more info

Photos © Gianmarco Bresadola

Creative team

Based on the book byHeinrich von Kleist
Directed bySimon McBurney and Annabel Arden
DramaturgyMaja Zade
Set DesignMagda Willi
Costume DesignMoritz Junge
Sound DesignBenjamin Grant
Sound AssociateJoe Dines
Lighting DesignErich Schneider
Video DesignLuke Halls
Video AssociateZakk Hein and Sébastien Dupouey
ProducerBerlin Schaubühne
Associate ProducerWayward Productions


Robert Beyer
Moritz Gottwald
Laurenz Laufenberg
David Ruland
Genija Rykova
Renato Schuch