Short-term London boss is sh*t out of Berlin

Short-term London boss is sh*t out of Berlin


norman lebrecht

April 13, 2018

Tanks (and worse*) were planted on his forecourt when Chris Dercon, head of London’s Tate Modern, was placed in charge of Berlin’s Volksbuehne, a left-wing theater long run by the modish Frank Castorf.

Dercon, a Belgian modernist, had never run a performing arts establishment before.

Berliners greeted him with daily parcels of faeces* placed at his office door. This big.


Now the city’s Culture Senator Klaus Lederer has announced Dercon’s immediate resignation. ‘Both parties have agreed that Chris Dercon’s appointment has not worked out as hoped,’ he said.

Hold noses.

More here.


  • Mike Schachter says:

    Vile story. These “activists” are of course funded by the taxes of decent people. I am sure very few if any of them are actually working class by any definition, useless spoilt middle class brats who infest so much of the western world and contribute nothing,

  • Andy says:

    Chris Dercon did not understand the best stage of the republic and its audience. He made lots of mistakes. Including to support the motion of a far right group to call the police against his audience when they did a squad folklore in the outer halls of the theatre, probably the best and most cosy performance during his reign while the rest of the theatre was virtually empty. Chris Dercon took over the “People’s Stage” as a trade mark, performed elsewhere in oversized halls and did really bad dance shows, refugee pulp, horrible promotional language and corporate identity. The professional workshop staff of the Volksbühne was not included in the production, and the curators of the shows made expensive purchases elsewhere. The Senate pulled the plug when he wasted all the extra budget on empty stages. No one expected that it would come that worse. Even an iconical actress with a fixed contract S. Rois left the Theatre. All his supporters communicated like opportunistic morons.

    Of course he presents himself as a victim but playing victim is what all bullies do. I have never seen and expected such an insensitive theatre manager who wasted public resources. I wished him luck and the worst came true. It is not like the audience would not support a transition to a new director and did not give him a chance. He never understood the unique spirit of the stage and offended us with mediocre stuff and unreflected language.

    In his first press conference he said “Die Volksbühne ist mir mir immer ein Begriff gewesen”. He sounded like a clerk from an insurance company, not an artist, without any sensitivity to language. His announcements of new shows were full of linguistic garbage. You might get away with it in the art scene but you cannot do that to a sophisticated audience.