GYPSIES. Roma in Europa


The doc-play ‘Gypsies’ is an empathic as well as risky theatre piece about the Roma people. The intense performance transforms sobering life stories into absorbing, moving personal laments, heartbreaking glimpses into the soul drawn from everyday situations. Music takes over where words end, melancholic and rhythmically stirring to a point of ecstasy. Without form and measure? Is that what we fanatics of order fear? Intimacy develops from trust, understanding through knowledge: a strenuous causality. This is why there was great applause for the successful experiment. Respect is won during this evening and it is well worth it.                                                                                                           Braunschweiger Zeitung


“Bring your washing in, the Gypsies are coming!” It may sound like an age old prejudice but it resounds again as the EU citizens’ fears of foreign infiltration are renewed towards the largest ethnic minority in Europe (over 10 million people). Wherever Romas are based in Europe today, they are confronted by stereotypes, discrimination and exclusion. The National Socialists murdered them in concentration camps. During the war in Yugoslavia, they were followed, killed or expelled under the premises of ‘ethnic cleansing’. Unemployment and poverty force many Roma to emigrate to countries where they are considered “a poor burden, needy foreigners, as aggressive beggars, as uninvited providers of services, as social parasites, as intruders”. The governments of western EU countries push the responsibility back to the countries of origin through their asylum and immigration policies.

How do members of this transnational people describe themselves? What is the image they have of the society which makes up the majority in the country in which they live? In their eyes, what would be necessary for a felicitous life together? What perspectives do they see in a Europe of the future?

In their fifth work at the Brunswick (Braunschweig) state theatre, werkgruppe2 focus their view once more on the theme of Europe. Together with Roma musicians and a multi-national acting ensemble, the theatre project has evolved from interviews made in Romania, France and Germany and following the opening performances in Brunswick, will tour around Europe.

"It's not our fault that we are gypsies!"

Premiere: 23.02.2017

25.02./28.02./ 1.03./2.03./ 4.04./5.04. Braunschweig, Husarenstrasse

31.03./ 1.04. Hannover, Pavillon

2.04. Göttingen, Junges Theater

8.04. Berlin, Heimathafen Neukölln

11./12./13.06. Timisoara, Nationaltheater

14../ 15.11.2017 Nancy, Théâtre de la manufacture

Julia Roesler

concept and text


Charlotte Pistorius

video images
Hamze Bytyci/ Veronika Patočková

Silke Merzhäuser/ Christine Besier




Performers and musicans
Simon Bourgade, Gina Calinoiu, Ursula Hobmair, Flavius Retea, Dejan Jovanovic (Akkordeon) and Dejan Jovanovic (Violin)


GYPSIES is a werkgruppe2 production.

Co-produced with

funded by: