Wartime paranoia. Hans Fallada’s acclaimed Alone in Berlin to premiere at the Royal & Derngate

Hans Fallada’s critically acclaimed Alone in Berlin, a story of wartime paranoia and fear, is to be put on the UK stage for the first time in a thrilling adaption by Alistair Beaton.

Northampton’s Royal & Derngate and York Theatre Royal, in association with Oxford Playhouse, are producing the play, which will premiere in Northants next February, directed by Royal & Derngate’s artistic director James Dacre.

Set in 1940, the play is a gripping portrait of life in wartime Berlin and a vividly theatrical study of how paranoia can warp a society gripped by the fear of the night-time knock on the door.

Based on true events, Alone in Berlin follows a quietly courageous couple who stand up to the brutal reality of the Nazi regime. With the smallest of acts, they defy Hitler’s rule – facing the gravest of consequences.

The timely story of the moral power of personal resistance follows Otto and Anna as they negotiate the insidious effects of absolute power on every aspect of daily life.

When they decide to make a stand in their own unique way, the Gestapo launch a terrifying hunt for the perpetrators.

Otto and Anna find themselves players in a deadly game of cat and mouse with the forces of the state – a game that will eventually lead them down through ever-narrowing circles of totalitarian hell.

Regularly adapted for stage productions across Europe, this will be the first time Fallada’s masterpiece has been seen on a British stage.

It has been translated from the German and adapted by the playwright and translator Alistair Beaton, whose numerous credits include Feelgood, Fracked!; Follow My Leader; and The Trial of Tony Blair.

Alone in Berlin, part of Royal & Derngate’s Made in Northampton season, will run in the Royal Theatre from February 8-29 before transferring to York Theatre Royal, where it will play from March 3 – 21, and Oxford Playhouse, running March 24 – 28.

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