Winter Solstice


It’s Christmas. A Time for Family?

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.

WINTER SOLSTICE is an Actors Touring Company co-production with the Orange Tree Theatre.


★★★★★ “The most exciting new play I have seen in years”

Michael Arditti, Sunday Express

★★★★ “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.”

Michael Billington, The Guardian

★★★★ “A sharply provocative twist on the traditional fraught family festivities drama”

Paul Taylor , The Independent

★★★★ “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.”

Susannah Clapp , The Observer

★★★★ “Devastatingly funny”

Sarah Cromptom, WhatsOnStage

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

Fergus Morgan, The Stage

★★★★ “Here’s a witty, incisive and ultimately chilling drama. Leading German playwright Roland Schimmelpfennig, elegantly translated by David Tushingham, takes a skillfully 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.”

Fiona Mountford , Evening Standard