Twenty major German cities have a total of twenty-four theatres specializing, at a high level of sophistication, in presenting light comedy. They have their own typical ambience, principles of artistic management and casting. There are playwrights, actors, directors and designers who work almost exclusively in the genre, called boulevard comedy, developing highly specialised approaches to their work. In almost all cases, the predominantly privately run boulevard comedy theatres in Germany have been able to attract larger audiences than municipal or state theatres in the same cities. The book provides a description and an analysis of this phenomenon, which is unique to Germany. Chapters focus on an analysis of ambience, artistic managers, artistic policies and artistic structures, on major characteristics of the plays presented on the stages of German boulevard comedy theatres, on aspects of translation and the cultural transfer of comedy and laughter and on aspects of production and reception, dealing in turn with actors, directors, media coverage and audiences.
Daniel Meyer-Dinkgrafe is lecturer at the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies University of Wales Aberystwyth