Dead Ladies Show #5

The fifth Dead Ladies Show is upon us, and it brings ladies complicated, competent and completely scintillating. Join us for an evening all about three women who were once at the top of their respective games. In German and English, with plenty of mingling and music – and as usual, with a special drink of the night available at the bar, to make sure your hair stands on end.


Writer and translator Isabel Cole will share her love of:
Scion of an ancient theater dynasty, Ida Lupino (1918-1995) was an idiosyncratic star of Hollywood’s golden age – and in the 1950s she broke down barriers as a woman director/producer who tackled taboo subjects with her own inimitable style and panache.

Regisseurin und Autorin Gabi Hift erzählt uns von:
Unica Zürn, Surrealistin, Schriftstellerin, Malerin, Graphikerin, ist berühmt für ihre Anagramme und für die faszinierenden Erkundungungen aus dem Inneren ihres Wahnsinns. Sie und Hans Bellmer lebten als notorisches symbiotisches Künstlerpaar im Pariser “Hotel de l’esperanze”, er bastelte an den zerstückelten Sehnsuchtskörpern seiner Puppen, verschnürte Zürn zu Fleischpaketen, sie halluzinierte den “Mann im Jasmin”, die beiden waren Komplizen in der Kunst und in der Liebe. Zürn verbrachte immer wieder Monate in der Irrenanstalt, blieb auch dort produktiv, malte die Schrecken und Freuden des Kopfleuchtens. 1970 sprang sie aus dem Fenster- genau wie sie es drei Jahre vorher in einem Roman beschrieben hatte. (“Wer aber verzweifelt stibt, dessen ganzes Leben war umsonst.”- wer zum Teufel sagt denn sowas?!)


And your beloved host Florian Duijsens tells us: Even if her only role had been The Bride of Frankenstein (back in 1935), Elsa Lanchester would have been assured a cult following lasting infinite Halloweens. Yet her lightning-bolt hairdo surely wasn’t her only legacy, as she also hijacked the screen in classics such as Witness for the Prosecution, The Big Clock, and Mary fucking Poppins. Together with her husband Charles Laughton (an esteemed actor himself, plus the director of the DEATHLESS Night of the Hunter), she also recorded several bawdy albums of cockney songs, and with quips like “She looked as if butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth – or anywhere else,” she’ll make a perfect addition to our Dead Ladies pantheon!

€4 entry – come nice and early to get a seat!

Dead Ladies Show #4

It’s freezing outside and you may well be facing your family for days on end rather soon.

So first, why not enjoy a seasonal evening celebrating three seasoned ladies: cabaret performer and famed trouser-wearer Claire Waldoff, plus two Hollywood legends, actress and director Barbara Loden, and child and adult star Natalie Wood. All presented to you by translator and publisher Amanda DeMarco, and author and journalist Katja Kullmann, then after a break co-host Katy Derbyshire with special musical guests Hans Kellett and Sigrid Grajek. All in a mishmash of English and German! Your beloved co-host Florian Duijsens will be holding it all together.

Event includes seasonal socializing/commiseration and very possibly eggnog, Gühwein, or a similarly wintry beverage. Heating and conviviality will be provided free of charge.

Dead Ladies Show #3

Another show jam-packed with dead ladies of the impressive kind, this time a quadruple double whammy: three dead ladies, two languages, two Florians, two electronic music inventresses and two Derbyshires.

So shimmy into your sequins or dress down and dirty to celebrate ethnographer Mary Kingsley – who explored Africa in full Victorian mourning dress and criticized missionaries – Bebe Barron – who literally cut and pasted hours of tape to compose the soundtrack for Forbidden Planet – and Delia Derbyshire – “the unsung heroine of British electronic music”.

All presented by your beloved hosts, Katy Derbyshire (no relation) and Florian Duijsens, plus special guest stars Susan Stone (NPR, WWD) and Florian Sievers (Spex, Groove).

And we’ll wind up the evening in time-honoured Dead Ladies Show style with a spot of socializing over special futuristic cocktails. Or perhaps a Victorian-style beverage? All will be revealed.

€4 on the door, or free entry for anyone appearing in full Victorian mourning dress.

Dead Ladies Show #2

The second Dead Ladies Show once again explores the collision of feminism and fabulousness, glamor and genius. Get dressed up in your finest of finery, or come as you are, Berlin-style, ready to learn about three more ladies who were amazing in their lifetimes.

This Dead Ladies Show celebrates Chicago-born silent film actress Dagmar Godowsky, her fellow Chicagoan (albeit “from the other side of the tracks”), pioneering R&B star LaVern Baker, and the Viennese salonnière Alma Mahler-Werfel. Though long departed from the world’s stage, these artists have never stopped inspiring this evening’s hosts, Katy Derbyshire (translator extraordinaire), Florian Duijsens (SAND, Asymptote), and their guests Luisa Zielinski (Paris Review, Asymptote) and Julya Rabinowich (author of Splithead and other novels).

After a night of short bilingual readings and presentations, we’ll mingle and listen to forgotten tunes and drink to deceased dames. The cover charge is 4 Euro, and there will be a signature Chicago-style cocktail on offer.

Foto : Alma Mahler-Werfel

Dead Ladies Show #1

The Dead Ladies Show not only presents a fabulous excuse to dress up in faux-fox furs and other early 20th-century accoutrements, it is the first in a series of very Berlin events exploring the collision of feminism and fabulousness, glamor and genius.

This inaugural Dead Ladies Show celebrates Irmgard Keun, Dorothy Parker, and Pola Negri. Though long departed from the world’s stage, these artists have never stopped inspiring this evening’s hosts, Katy Derbyshire (translator extraordinaire), Florian Duijsens (SAND, Asymptote), and Daniela Dröscher (author of the novel Pola).

After a night of short bilingual readings and presentations, DJ Johnny Stardust will pay tribute to other spirited jazz, blues, and country women of yore, so be sure to wear your dancing shoes. The cover charge is €4, and there will be a signature ‘Dead Lady’ cocktail in Dorothy Parker’s honor.