The international ensemble Das Letzte Kleinod (The Last Treasure) develops performances about places and their stories. An unoccupied island, a cold storage house or a harbour quay become the sites of unusual theatre performances. Das Letzte Kleinod continues to present their work in Germany, Europe and overseas.
The realisation of theatrical projects at unusual performance sites requires special logistics: Das Letzte Kleinod operates two railway stations and carries out out-of-town theatrical projects with nine own railway cars. A tent camp is available to the group, used at performances sites that are not connected to a railway network. The artistic work and the organization constantly influence each other.
The performances tell the stories of locations and their inhabitants. The theatre piecesare mostly based on oral history. Das Letzte Kleinod likes to present works on international issues, enabling them to relate regional history to other parts of the world. For this purpose guest artists from the respective cultural background are invited to take part in the productions and guest performances are carried out in the partner country of each respective play.
The subjects of the performances originate in the confrontation with the landscape and themes of the region. The mud flats, the beaches and the harbours give occasion for the theatrical projects of the theatre ensemble. Former industrial monuments become the sites of the performance of memories. In the seaports countless stories run together, drawn from which the international motives of the stagings are formed.
There is nothing added to the places of performance except light, movement and acting or dance. The materials found at the chosen location are integrated into the performance. The visual character of the productions allows performances in different cultural contexts. The stagings blur the lines between theatre, dance, object and puppet theatre, fine arts, music and social culture.
For each project a completely new performance space is created. It often takes great effort to make the performance site accessible to the audiences: For the performance on an uninhabited island a car ferry was chartered, tents are put up for shelter against the weather at remote performance sites, for a performance set in a cold storage 120 hot-water bottles and sleeping-bags were used to keep the audience warm.
Railway station of Geestenseth
The railway station of Geestenseth is located along the railway line from Bremerhaven to Buxtehude near Hamburg. The building, built in 1899 and listed as a historic monument accommodates the production base of Das Letzte Kleinod. In the former signal box, the waiting rooms, the freight shed and in own carriages the ensemble’s theatre works are conceived and prepared before they are performed in the North of Germany and beyond.