The Theatre

12th Season

September 23, 2019 until February 2, 2020
daily except Monday,
Tuesday to Friday 7:30 pm,
Saturday 4.00 pm and 8.00 pm,
Sundays 3.00 pm and 7.00 pm.

Previews: October 20 and 21, 2020
Premiere: 22. Oktober 2020
More performances: until March 7, 2021
Tuesday to Friday 7:30 pm,
Saturday 3.30 and 8.00 pm
Sunday 2.30 and 6.30 pm

The History of the Hansa Theatre

The Hansa Theater on the Steindamm was the epitome of vaudeville in Germany for over one hundred years. On the 31st of December 2001, after 51,188 shows, the curtain fell for the last time.
For many Hamburg citizens this was simply unthinkable, as the Hansa Theater was, after all, like a landmark in the city.

In 1894 the theatre was opened on the Steindamm and to this today it is owned by the Grell family. Paul Wilhelm Grell, a brewery owner to trade, founded a vaudeville theatre in the former Hansa Concert Hall, which soon became known beyond the borders of Germany.

The list of artists who graced the Hansa Theater with their present, or even started their career here, is long. It stretches from Hans Albers, Charly Wittong and the Wolf Brothers to Josephine Baker, Fritzi Massary, Wilhelm Bendow to Hannussen and Grock the Clown.

In 1943 the theatre, which was, in the meantime, under the management of the second generation, Kurt Grell, was completely destroyed. But he did not allow himself to be discouraged by it and erected a new building on the same spot. From 1967 the traditional theatre was run by his wife, Telse Meyer-Grell – and later by her son-in-law, Peter Baldermann. And even then there was a never-ending stream of international stars such as Kalanag the magician, the cabaret artist Wolfgang Neuss, Charly Rivel the Clown and, in the 50s, pop stars such as Caterina Valente or Conny Froboess. But shows with performing animals including elephants, horses and big cats formed part of the programme like Siegfried & Roy, for example, who appeared in Hamburg for the first in 1964 – still as complete unknowns. “Never on TV” was the motto to which the Hansa Theater successfully remained firm. Furthermore, the plushy design of the 50s, the legendary “Theaterteller”, the waitresses serving in aprons and little bonnets, as well as ringing the bell for the waiters were cult.

Thomas Collien and Ulrich Waller, who, for the last six years, have jointly revived another theatrical jewel in Hamburg, the St. Pauli Theater, for the last 6 years, want, in a time of increasingly tiring TV entertainment, to venture to make a fresh start with the unique experience of live entertainment in a place where the history of vaudeville was written. The intention, in so doing, is for the citizens of Hamburg and those visiting it to be given back a piece of Hamburg.

Thomas Collien, grandson of the great impresario Kurt Collien, who, among other things, brought Josephine Baker to Germany and established a circus together with Grock the Clown, has soaked up the smell of vaudeville with his mother’s breast milk so to speak. Ulrich Waller has followed the art of vaudeville over many years as a regular guest at the Tigerpalast in Frankfurt and, of course, at the Hansa Theater. Finally, in one acclaimed evening, he recalled the Wolf brothers, those unforgettable comedians who celebrated triumphs in the Hansa Theater for years.

Together with the Fischereihafen restaurant in Hamburg and in cooperation with Germany’s leading vaudeville theatre, the Tigerpalast in Frankfurt, Collien and Waller have developed a modern concept of entertainment consisting of the best of vaudeville, presented by the crème de la crème of cabaret artists and accompanied by culinary delicacies from the House of Kowalke.

The intention is to address all of the senses at the highest level. And, in keeping with the tradition of the theatre, at a fair price.