Already closed | 2h 0m | Brooklyn

Returning to Reims

From 23 member  reviews
Members say: Relevant, Ambitious, Intelligent, Absorbing, Slow

About the show

St. Ann's Warehouse presents Schaubühne Berlin's new production based on the memoir by Didier Eribon, which asks: as populism marches around the globe, does political activism still have a role to play?


A sound studio. An actress records a voiceover for a documentary.  Philosopher Didier Eribon, returning to his childhood home, discovers that the left-wing and liberal middle class have abandoned the working class, and workers are running into the arms of the right-wing National Front. How is this possible? How have things come to this? Featuring 'Homeland’s' Nina Hoss.

2h 0m | Already closed | St Ann's Warehouse (Brooklyn)

Member Reviews (23)


Relevant, Ambitious, Intelligent, Absorbing, Slow
Avg Score

Slow, Indulgent, Disappointing, Absorbing, Pointless

See it if You’re a fan of documentary FILMS or curious about how voiceover is done. This is a very absorbing story read to you while you watch a film.

Don't see it if You’re expecting any sort of theatre. I don’t know why we had to go to Brooklyn to see what was little more than a documentary film.

Ambitious, Absorbing, Clever, Thought-provoking, Refreshing

See it if you like combinations of film, narration & drama, curious how the right gains influence & how fathers impact children, fan of Nina Hoff

Don't see it if you don't like shows that mix film in with plot, that don't signal where they are going, have a strong political POV, appear to lack plot

Also This is an extraordinary show that 140 spaces cannot possibly do justi... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Great acting, Refreshing, Relevant, Mesmerizing

See it if you enjoy alternative, new types of theater that focus on ideas rather than plot or character development.

Don't see it if you prefer action and a real story. This show is very wordy

Great acting, Great staging, Clever, Ambitious

See it if you enjoy German theater and its quirky storytelling method

Don't see it if you like to see actions and drama on stage -this show has none

Thought-provoking, Great acting, Intelligent, Profound, Relevant

See it if you like theater with a strong political message. It takes time to grow on you but it is worth sitting through a, at times, slow production

Don't see it if Politics and theater are not a good mix for you. This is a very intense production and if you look for “ light “ entertainment keep looking

Great acting, Masterful, Profound, Relevant, Great directing

See it if you like to think when you go to the theatre

Don't see it if you think that political activism is useless

Absorbing, Excruciating, Epic, Intelligent, Masterful

See it if you want your entertainment thoughtful, quiet and intelligent

Don't see it if you'd rather laugh through a musical

Ambitious, Intense, Slow, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you are interested in Europe's history, politics, social change movements, human rights activities.

Don't see it if you don't like political shows. also if you can't sit through 3 hours show

Ambitious, Banal, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if you want an untraditional theatre experience, you enjoy listening to Hoss's soothing voice.

Don't see it if you're looking for a play with conflict, exciting character interaction, or an obvious message.

Also This play is obviously intended to provoke thought, but I didn't find ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great writing

See it if you are interested in political drama and historical events, although the play shifts from a personal coming of age to universal politics.

Don't see it if you are not interested in political discourse, rap music or a non-linear personal history narrative.

Philosophical, Political, Multimedia

See it if you are interested in juxtaposition of film and text. Want a backstage pass on how voice recording narration for documentary works.

Don't see it if You are expecting linear play with action and conflict. This is dialogue and philosophical based. Spoken word performances put you to sleep.

Also There is spoken word rapping performance midway that neither contribut... Read more Read less

Clever, Absorbing, Great writing, Relevant

See it if YOU are interested on seen something very unique and interesting

Don't see it if you don't like surprises

Clever, Great acting, Intense, Intelligent, Slow

See it if you want to see a very clever play that is consciously anti-theatrical, but that puts on the table a lot of interesting political stuff.

Don't see it if you get bored easily with plays with a lot of text and not a lot of action.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if You like a thought provoking performance that isn't actually a play

Don't see it if you want fast pacing!

Also For me this was all about watching Nina Hoss. Her voice, her expressiv... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Confusing, Slow, Ambitious, Overrated

See it if You have great hearing. The sound design is very casual and Frau Hoss mumbles in accented English. I was on last row and understood about ha

Don't see it if You have hearing or backside problems. Two hours, no interval makes for difficult sit. Not for the hearing or the orthopedically challenged.

Riveting, Intelligent, Absorbing, Relevant

See it if You like thoughtful, non-traditional, political pieces. Nina Hoss was enchanting.

Don't see it if You are not interested in leftist politics, you prefer plot-driven plays with a lot of action, you don't like semi-autobiographical works.

During previews
Ambitious, Slow, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Overrated

See it if you are interested in the European working classes, or the European left, & how both have shifted over the past 50 years.

Don't see it if you want to see a drama: much of the action here is a prose reading & an accompanying film.

Also I’m disappointed in this piece, given my exposure to the Schaubuhne Be... Read more Read less

During previews
Demanding, Deliberately non-theatrical, Thought-provoking, Politically astute but not always engaging

See it if you're interested in the Left's failure of the working class and subsequent rise of far-Right politicians; French socio-political theorists

Don't see it if experiments in form alienate you: format is a live voiceover of documentary with Eribon's text juxtaposed with Hoss' memories of her father

Also It's ironic that Eribon's mining of his personal history as a key to h... Read more Read less

During previews
Confusing, Intelligent, Relevant, Slow, Disjointed

See it if you prefer intellectual political lectures to plays. This show is innovative and expands beyond genres. Love Nina Hoss’s voice!

Don't see it if You want to see a play with a cohesive plot. This is more like disjointed performance art with some innovative and interesting moments.

During previews
Ambitious, Intelligent, Untheatrical, Forced

See it if You want to see a noble attempt to bring a undramatic text to the stage with gratuitous personal conflict -- and rapping!

Don't see it if You want a successful realized theatrical experience.

During previews
Exquisite, Great acting, Great writing, Intense, Relevant

See it if If you want to be transform in the theatre. If you want to think about themes that are important. If you want to connect!

Don't see it if You don’t want to be transformed or if you don’t want to participate I’d a theatrical experience.

During previews
Absorbing, Relevant, Intelligent

See it if You're interested in political drama that doesn't shy away from creating a conversation with historical events and modern themes.

Don't see it if You are closed minded in how you believe theatre is structured. See it if you're a closed or open minded liberal or conservative however.

During previews
Ambitious, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if want to think about the issues of social class and the political process interested in the journey of an individual who defied expectations

Don't see it if Have trouble hearing the unamplified discussions from stage outside of the main narration not interested in the topic

February 11th, 2018
"Definitely worth seeing, but you may not think so until after it’s over...In the viewing, this production is rarely exciting in the terms of conventional drama. Nor is its portrayal of the creation of a film entirely credible. But it’s smart in expressly theatrical ways, and its effectiveness is...
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February 11th, 2018
"Most of 'Returning to Reims' doesn’t seem much like theater...You can sometimes sense the audience growing restless at the absence of front-and-center drama. But director Thomas Ostermeier gradually adjusts the style toward an explicit awareness of theatricality...Even as 'Returning to Reims' as...
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February 11th, 2018
"An intellectually ambitious, uneven but fascinating, often anti-theatrical piece of theater...For at least the first half Ostermeier actually uses the lack of conventional drama to craft an enthralling, prodigiously smart piece of live performance that’s part theater, part audiobook, part film.....
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February 11th, 2018
"'While it often proves thought-provoking and incisive in its socio-political arguments, the piece is too scattershot to make a real impact...Ostermeier lets his theatrical conceits get the better of him, squandering the play's thematic ideas...There's plenty to admire, not the least of which is ...
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