Written by Stiff Writer
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Wednesday, 13 October 2010

image for Theatre Wall Collapses During Brecht Play
The Palais Theatre, Berlin

Berlin, Germany: The fourth wall of a Berlin theatre has collapsed during a Brecht play, with many audience members feared injured.

At approximately 20:00 local time the fourth wall of the Palais Theatre collapsed dramatically during a performance of Brecht's Threepenny Opera, with the audience fleeing the building in a state of panic.

One lucky audience member who managed to escape unharmed was Heidi Schwartz. She described the terrifying events to our correspondent.

"We had settled into our seats to enjoy a pleasant musical, when we became aware that something was wrong. We had expected to be immersed in an illusion of reality, but instead we could clearly see the workings of the play. It was as if the fourth wall was being torn down in front of our eyes. Terror spread around the audience, and in no time a panicked throng were climbing over each other to get to the exits."

Architectural engineer Helmut Kleine, who oversaw a refurbishment of the Palais Theatre in 2005, suggests that the building itself was structurally sound, and that the blame lies with the play itself.

"It is not without reason that here is a clause in the city's bye laws that prohibit Brecht's plays from being performed in enclosed spaces. This law was passed in the late 1920s after a series of similar incidents."

The Theatre's owners have been unavailable for comment.

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