What does Europe mean to German theatre-goers?

It is good to combine business with pleasure sometimes. Whilst in Stuttgart for the excellent SDL LSP Partner Conference this week, I also went to a performance at the Staatstheater of 'Arsen und Spitzenhäubchen' (Arsenic and Old Lace), a comedy byJoseph Kesselring.

In the foyet of the theatre, there was a pinboard. Two questions were asked on the pinboard. The first question was 'Europe meant to me in the past..?' - and the dominant answer there was 'Krieg' (war.) To the second question, 'Europe means to me today...?' the dominant answers were 'Freiheit' (freedom) and Frieden (peace.)

This was a jaw-dropping moment for a British visitor contemplating Brexit. So many questions arise! How different would the answers be in a British theatre foyet? Could we even have that debate in Britain now in a public place without public disagreements? Are these answers just symptomatic of the demographic of a theatre-goer in Germany? This Blog is not a forum for politics, but has there ever been a time when society has been so split?

Mark 25.10.17

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