Actors Touring Company & Orange Tree Theatre presents

Winter Solstice

By Roland Schimmelpfennig

Christmas Eve.

Bettina and her husband Albert aren’t happy – Bettina’s mother is staying for the holidays.

Which is awkward.

Not least because Bettina’s mother met a man on the train. And now she’s invited him around for drinks…

Family, betrayal and the inescapable presence of the past reverberate through the UK premiere of Roland Schimmelpfennig’s razor-sharp comedy about the rise of the new right across the globe.

Schimmelpfennig is the most performed playwright in Germany, with productions of his work worldwide in over 40 countries. Previous productions in the UK include The Golden Dragon and Arabian Night, both presented by Actors Touring Company.

★★★★★ “Eye-catching and brilliantly unexpected. Skilfully crafted.” – The Reviews Hub

“Funny and entertaining, lively and inventive… Very satisfying… It does a lot with a little.” – Jildy Sauce

★★★★ “Inventive, provocative and incredibly transfixing… Razor-sharp… A riveting watch.” – Frankly My Dear

“A play of ideas… A play which sends the audience home pondering important matters is one which earns it place in our theatres.” – British Theatre Guide

★★★★ “Winter Solstice is farcical as much as it is philosophical.” – North West End

★★★★ “An extraordinary piece of theatre… A beguiling, betwixting and brainstorming evening of dysfunctionality.” – Caught in the Act

“There is an intangible and alluring appeal to Winter Solstice… The quality of the artistic delivery is what holds this performance together.” – The Greater Manchester Reviewer

“Dark and clever… The cast of five all give strong and compelling performances… Clever, funny, and creative.” – Live Art Alive

“Important and engrossing… Both challenging and thought provoking… Definitely worth seeing.” – Mancunion

“Unexpected, intriguing and exciting… This isn’t just a Christmas family drama, it’s a political warning… One of the most captivating pieces of theatre I’ve seen in a long time.” CultureBean

“The ramshackle charm of the play is hard to resist and makes a visit to HOME well worthwhile.” – Manchester Theatre Awards

★★★ “What really counts is that Schimmelpfennig, in portraying the failure of liberal intellectuals to confront the hideous legacy of the past, has written a potent play for today.” – The Guardian

★★★★ “Roland Schimmelpfennig’s play is better than a clarion call. Like its antihero, it is stealthy and subtle. It calls on its audience not to rise up and resist but to train themselves in observation. To realise by watching this gradually unfolding drama how easy it is to be inveigled, infiltrated.” – The Observer

★★★★ “A sharply provocative twist on the traditional fraught family festivities drama.” – The Independent

★★★★ “Exactly the kind of exciting, experimental and insightful theatre that Actors Touring Company do so well.” – The Stage

★★★★ “Devastatingly funny.” – What’s On Stage

★★★★★ “A powerful dispatch for our times.” – Exeunt

★★★★★ “The most exciting new play I have seen for many years.” – Sunday Express (print only)

★★★★ “Here’s a witty, incisive and ultimately chilling drama. Leading German playwright Roland Schimmelpfennig, elegantly translated by David Tushingham, takes a skilfully subtle and elliptical look at the recurrence of evil in society by folding it up into a tautly spun narrative, to which we can all relate, about family tensions at Christmas.” – Evening Standard

★★★★ “[A] thrilling European import.” The Tablet (print only)

  • Running time 1hr 50mins (no interval)
  • Recommended age 16+
  • This show contains some strong language
  • £12.50 full (concs available)