Polish Pearls

A documentary play about East European care workers

Up until a few years ago, it was mainly men who left homeland and family in order to earn money abroad, be it for road construction, heavy industry or agricultural work.The New Economy has shifted this status quo with droves of women storming the global job market to work in the care industry. Welfare and love belong foremost to the female domain and people in industrial countries pay for this. Due to demographic changes, there has been a new demand for care workers: more and more carers travel from Eastern Europe to Germany to look after old people, often as a 24 hour service, 7 days of the week.

For this project, werkgruppe2 researched one of the largest low-wage sectors, 24 hour in-house care. We interviewed East European women and men who for years have been caring for old people in their homes in Germany around the clock for months at a time. Often the working relationship is one of accepted exploitation which has evolved out of necessity. This is due to the lack of mostly poorly paid work in the east of Europe and the shortage of affordable home-care in Germany, coupled with the desire not to burden family members with the needs of the aged. And who of us would not rather grow old within our own four walls?

VIDEO >> here

„When there is no work, then one has to go off and look for it, isn’t that right? What else... should I fold my arms and sit back?”


taz, Michael Laages
Seldom has the independent theatre ensemble, werkgruppe2, proven so irrefutably why it makes so much sense to interpret one’s research through the work of actors. ‘Polish Pearls’, the current staged investigation of everyday burning issues, would be unthinkable as a straight forward documentation with the parties concerned on stage. It is precisely this form of presentation which makes the play such an experience.

Deutschlandradio Kultur, Fazit, Alexander Kohlmann
The evening succeeds in binding journalism and theatre and moving the audience emotionally. A piece of art which can not be taken for granted under the genre of documentary theatre.

20.März 2014

Staatstheater Braunschweig
Kleines Haus

directing: Julia Roesler
stage design
: Julia Schiller
costume design: Dorothea Hoffmann
: Insa Rudolph
: Silke Merzhäuser, Axel Preuss

other showings:
25. + 27.3., 4. + 11.4.
14. + 18.5., 5. + 7.6.2014

Fotos: Volker Beinhorn



Mit: Philipp Grimm, David Kosel, Franziska Roloff, Matthias Schamberger, Nientje Schwabe, Fanny Staffa und den Musikerinnen Insa Rudolph, Katharina Pfänder, Kristina van de Sand, Lisa Stepf (Quartett plus 1)

Co-produced by

Funded by:

Fonds Doppelpass by

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