Watch video
Watch video

About the Production

Dr. Stockmann discovers that the source of drinking and spa water is riddled with pathogenic micro-organisms, caused by industrial effluence. Stockmann wants to publish the findings in the newspaper and demands that the city council re-route the water pipes. Influential citizens and local journalists promise their support. However, his brother Peter, the mayor, raises some serious concerns: The economic prosperity of the spa town will be threatened. Suddenly the support for Stockman from the town's policymakers begins to wane. They spread seeds of doubt about his plans and try to cover up the fact of the contaminated water. But Stockmann insists on transparency and intends to go public on the matter. For him the affair has long since ceased to be about the polluted health spa, his target is society as a whole. Ibsen's drama wavers on a fine line between honesty and fanaticism. What is the potential for transparency in a commercialised society?



THOMAS OSTERMEIER was born in Soltau in 1968, grown up in Landshut. Studied directing at the Hochschule  für Schauspielkunst  “Ernst Busch”  Berlin from 1992 to 1996.  From 1996 to 1999 director and artistic director of the Baracke at the Deutsches Theater Berlin. Since September 1999 director and artistic director of the Schaubühne. Guest productions at the Munich Kammerspiele, Vienna Burgtheater, Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne and Comédie-Française, among others. Curated the programme of the Festival d'Avignon as Artiste associé in 2004.  2010 appointment as Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. From 2010 to 2018 president of the Franco-German Cultural Council.  Received the Golden Lion of the Venice Biennale for lifetime achievement in 2011.  In 2015 appointment as Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Honorary doctorates from the University of Kent (2016) and the University of Gothenburg (2019).  Member of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin. Was awarded the Prix Molière for best production for Shakespeare's La Nuit des Rois ou Tout ce que vous voulez at the Comédie-Française in 2019.  His most recent productions  at the Schaubühne are: Returning to Reirns after Didier Eribon (2017 I 2021), History of Violence  by Édouard Louis (2018),  ltalian Night by Ödön von Horváth (2018), abgrund by Maja Zade (2019),  La Nuit des Rois ou Tout ce que vous voulez by William Shakespeare  (2019),  Youth without  God  by Ödön von Horváth (2019), Qui a tué mon Père by Édouard Louis (2020)  and Vernon Subutex 1 by Virginie Despentes  (2021).


(Creative team and Cast biographies in PDF document at the end of the page)


From the Reviews

“Ibsen was controversial in his time and this production delivers a volatile adaptation that will trigger heated conversation in the car on the way home.”

Kate Herbert, Herald Sun


“Schaubühne director Thomas Ostermeier has created a conclusive and contemporary rendition of Ibsen’s seasonal favourite An Enemy of the People [...]. Credit must also go to dramaturge Florian Borchmeyer, whose intelligent, slimmed-down version of the original is, much in the spirit of Ibsen himself, imbued with contemporary social criticism on the myth of the economic boom and on the general trend towards the individualisation of living conditions [...].”

Stefan Kirschner, Berliner Morgenpost


“Years after its initial production, Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, has lost little of its topicality. Quite the contrary: The piece hits a contemporary nerve. Thomas Ostermeier stages a striking amalgam of the despotic world of finance, with its manipulations and nepotism and questions what is truth in an economically designed world.”

Frauke Vogel, rbb Inforadio