Grillo-Theater Essen

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Theaterplatz 11, Essen, Germany
Grillo-Theater Essen - The pre-war theatre. Historical photo on an information board
Grillo-Theater Essen - 'Don't play with food' or 'Don't play with Essen'
Grillo-Theater Essen - Grillo-Theater, detail of the facade
Grillo-Theater Essen - Grillo-Theater
Grillo-Theater Essen - Grillo-Theater

Grillo-Theater Essen Reviews

Kathrin_E Kathrin_E
369 reviews
Grillo-Theater Essen Aug 26, 2010
Essen was the first city in the Ruhr District to have a theatre building. Compared to the old cultural centres, though, this happened rather late. In 1887 the local businessman Friedrich Grillo promised to donate the money to have the theatre built. He died soon after but his widow kept his promise. The best architect for theatres in Germany, Heinrich Seeling from Berlin, was hired to provide the design. The old theatre was a pompous building with a dome, a neoclassical facade and wide stairs.

In World War II the theatre was almost completely destroyed but rebuilt soon. In 1950 the first performances after the war took place. The post-war theatre, now named after the founder, is simpler in its decorum. The side and back facades show the style of historism while the main facade is a plain, modern 1950s architecture. The Grillo-Theater is mostly used for spoken drama aka plays. Opera and ballet are performed in the Aalto-Theater.

Photo 4: During the summer holidays, the front showed this witty advertisement for the next season. It is a pun about the name of the city: „Essen“ = „food“. It can be understood as: „Don't play with Essen (the city)“ or „Don't play with food“. The three photos underneath depict a guy with glasses and sholder covers made from bacon slices, a woman with tomatoes in her eyes and mouth, and a person with a wig of spaghetti.
Grillo-Theater
Grillo-Theater
Grillo-Theater, detail of the faca…
"Don't play with food" or "Don't p…
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photo by: Vlindeke