Mama Odessa

based on the novel by Maxim Biller

Dates and tickets

Sa, 26.10.2024 | 19:30 h
Ballhof Eins |  
Premiere |  

Further dates are being planned.

It all starts with a letter to her son Mischa that Aljona Grinbaum never posted. Now Aljona is dead, and when Mischa finds the more than 30-years-old document among her legacy, he is taken on a journey into his family history, profoundly shaped by the political upheavals of the 20th century, by the fate of European Jews, by migration and political persecution. Beginning in Odessa, author Maxim Biller spans an arc where the Nazi-massacre at Tolbuchin Square is as crucial as a KGB-poison attack that was intended for Mischa’s father Gena but hit Aljona instead. Emigration is the only option, but instead of Israel, where the fervent Zionist Gena had always wanted to put down roots, the Grinbaum family ends up in Hamburg’s Grindelviertel, their new, unloved home, where there is nothing to remind us of the neighbourhood’s Jewish past today.
Full of tenderness, Biller has woven a complex family saga. At its centre is the relationship between mother and son: their love for literature constitutes both a close bond and rivalry for work and topics because in her old age, Aljona became a writer just like her son Mischa.
With Mama Odessa, director Alice Buddeberg, who staged Nadja Spiegelman’s biographical novel Was nie geschehen ist for Ballhof Eins in 2019, once again looks at an auto-fictional story about memories and expectations, family entanglements, secrets and betrayal.

Regie Alice Buddeberg
Bühne Emilia Schmucker
Kostüme Philipp Basener
Musik Matze Kloppe
Dramaturgie Johanna Vater