A Livestream Event

An Evening of Short Stories by Isaac Bashevis Singer

Read by Rebecca Garron accompanied on the piano by Paul Baeyertz

Directed by Joana O’Neil

In English

20th February 2020 at 7.30 p.m.

*Due to Covid-19 restrictions, this is now a free livestream event on the Goldbekhaus Channel on Youtube. The exact link will be published soon.

As part of the Week of Remembrance (Woche des Gedenkens) at Goldbekhaus Hamburg, we will present an Evening of Short Stories by Nobel Prize-winning author Isaac Bashevis Singer. Directed by Joana O’Neil. Read by Rebecca Garron. Accompanied on the piano by Paul Baeyertz. There is no charge for this free reading.

Over 3,000 years ago Judaism emerged as one of the world’s religions and developed living traditions, ways of life, its own philosophy and culture. Isaac Bashevis Singer (1902-1991) has written many stories about the life of the Jews. On this evening, Couch Theatre will celebrate Singer’s work and let us partake in Jewish culture. Rebecca Garron reads some of his short stories, including the beloved ZLATEH THE GOAT, accompanied musically by pieces by Jewish composers, interpreted on the piano by Paul Baeyertz. The stories are in English and do not require any particularly demanding language skills.

Vor über 3.000 Jahren entstand das Judentum als eine der Weltreligionen und entwickelte lebendige Traditionen, Lebensweisen, eine eigene Philosophie und Kultur. Isaac Bashevis Singer (1902-1991) hat viele Geschichten über das Leben der Juden
geschrieben. An diesem Abend zelebriert das Couch Theatre das Werk Singers und lässt uns teilhaben an der jüdischen Kultur. Rebecca Garron liest einige Geschichten vor, inkl. ZLATEH THE GOAT, musikalisch begleitet von Stücken jüdischer Komponisten, interpretiert am Klavier von Paul Baeyertz. Die Texte sind in englischer Sprache und setzen keine besonders anspruchsvollen Sprachkenntnisse voraus.

© The Isaac Bashevis Singer Literary Trust. Reading by permission of Liepman AG, Zürich. Die Veranstaltung findet im Rahmen der “Woche des Gedenkens” initiiert vom Bezirksparlament Hamburg-Nord, statt.

Please see our post ‘Who Was Isaac Bashevis Singer’ for more information on the author.


Couchcast: There Was No One in the Park Today – A Corona Poem. Written and read by Jason Couch

Feel free to share it from our YouTube channel :


Couch Theatre Merry Christmas Couch by Martin Scheibe

Today is the 4th Sunday of Advent and we’re signing off now until the New Year. (I was going to write a review of Couch Theatre’s year, but I don’t think anyone wants to look back at what we’ve all been through.)

Thanks to our actors and audiences in the few productions we were allowed to put on at the beginning of 2020, plus a huge Thank You to all the actors in our online Couchcasts.

I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and let’s hope that 2021 will be a much better year for each and every one of us!


The Hamburg Players Present


by Arnold Wesker

In 1996, I acted for the first time for The Hamburg Players. Since then, I’ve acted in many of their plays, even directed some of them and also taken part in many European drama festivals with them. I started Couch Theatre in 2018, however, will always be a ‘Hamburg Player’ at heart.

And for their February 2021 production I will be directing – once again with Rebecca Garron – the fascinating Sir Arnold Wesker play ‘Annie Wobbler’.

Watch this space for more information or go to the official Hamburg Players website:


Tramp, cleaning woman, seductress, Cambridge graduate, famous author, imposter: in his one-woman play Annie Wobbler, British playwright Arnold Wesker asks whether we ever really discover the mystery of our own lives: Who are we? What are we? And what if we were otherwise?

Joanna Thorn

Rebecca Garron and Jason Couch

Couchcast: November by Thomas Hood

Read by Tanya Farthing, Alex D’Attoma and Rob Quirk

Photos by T. Farthing, A.D’Attoma and R. Quirk

We, at Couch Theatre, are extremely proud and happy to have three wonderful voice over artists reciting an abridged version of ‘November’ by Thomas Hood for our Couchcasts.

Here is the poem in its entirety:

No sun – no moon!
No morn – no noon –
No dawn – no dusk – no proper time of day –
No sky – no earthly view –
No distance looking blue –
No road – no street – no ‘t’other side the way’ –
No end to any Row –
No indications where the Crescents go –
No top to any steeple –
No recognitions of familiar people –
No courtesies for showing ’em –
No knowing ’em –
No travelling at all – no locomotion,
No inkling of the way – no notion –
‘No go’ – by land or ocean –
No mail – no post –
No news from any foreign coast –
No Park – no Ring – no afternoon gentility –
No company – no nobility –
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member –
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds, –

For further information on Alex D’Attoma please go to http://www.englischer-sprecher.de

For further information on Tanya Farthing and Rob Quirk, please contact us via email at couchtheatre@web.de


Kultur erhalten/keep culture alive

Heute zur Kultur-Mahnwache bei „Tisch und Stuhl“ in Ottensen. Eine wunderbare aber traurige Aktion von Saskia Junggeburth, bei der wir heute mitmachen durften. Tisch und Stuhl wird es leider bald nicht mehr geben… Hier konnten nicht nur Stühle gekauft sondern auch Kleinkunstveranstaltungen genossen werden. Mit den Lesungen des Couch Theaters waren wir in diesem atmosphärisch wunderschönen Raum oft zu Gast. Sogar unsere erste Lesung fand hier statt.Wir werden Tisch und Stuhl sehr vermissen.

Couchcast: Tanya Farthing reads ‘We are Seven’ by William Wordsworth

The inimitable Tanya Farthing, using her unique style of lighting (wait for it!), reads We Are Seven by William Wordsworth. Written in 1798, this poem tells of a young girl who insists that they are a family of seven children, even though two of them have already died.

“A simple child, dear brother Jim,
That lightly draws its breath,
And feels its life in every limb,
What should it know of death?

I met a little cottage girl:
She was eight years old, she said;
Her hair was thick with many a curl
That clustered round her head.

She had a rustic, woodland air,
And she was wildly clad:
Her eyes were fair, and very fair;
Her beauty made me glad.

“Sisters and brothers, little Maid,
How many may you be?”
“How many? Seven in all,” she said,
And wondering looked at me.

“And where are they? I pray you tell.”
She answered, “Seven are we;
And two of us at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea.

“Two of us in the church-yard lie,
My sister and my brother;
And, in the church-yard cottage, I
Dwell near them with my mother.”

“You say that two at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea,
Yet ye are seven! I pray you tell,
Sweet maid, how this may be.”

Then did the little maid reply,
“Seven boys and girls are we;
Two of us in the church-yard lie,
Beneath the church-yard tree.”

“You run about, my little maid,
Your limbs they are alive;
If two are in the churchyard laid,
Then ye are only five.”

“Their graves are green, they may be seen,”
The little maid replied,
“Twelve steps or more from my mother’s door,
And they are side by side.

“My stockings there I often knit,
My kerchief there I hem;
And there upon the ground I sit,
And sing a song to them.

“And often after sunset, Sir,
When it is light and fair,
I take my little porringer,
And eat my supper there.

“The first that died was sister Jane;
In bed she moaning lay,
Till God released her of her pain;
And then she went away.

“So in the churchyard she was laid;
And, when the grass was dry,
Together round her grave we played,
My brother John and I.

“And when the ground was white with snow,
And I could run and slide,
My brother John was forced to go,
And he lies by her side.”

“How many are you, then,” said I,
“If they two are in heaven?”
Quick was the little Maid’s reply,
“O Master! we are seven.”

“But they are dead; those two are dead!
Their spirits are in heaven!”
’Twas throwing words away; for still
The little Maid would have her will,
And said, “Nay, we are seven!”

Trump, meine amerikanische Familie und ich – tagesschau24 | programm.ARD.de


Off topic.

So, my old friend Jiffer Bourguignon, husband Ingo Zamperoni and Birgit Wärnke have made a documentary about America, Trump, the elections and their family.

It will be online as of tomorrow and on TV on 2nd November. I’ve seen clips of it and it really promises to be great viewing.

They’re also both on NDR Talkshow tonight (Friday) talking about it. Don’t miss it!!

Couchcast: Mathilde Berry lit La tombe dit à la Rose de Victor Hugo

Mathilde Berry

Notre premier Couchcast en français!

Mathilde Berry lit La Tombe Dit à la Rose de Victor Hugo – devant une des ses ouvres.

La tombe dit à la rose :
— Des pleurs dont l’aube t’arrose
Que fais-tu, fleur des amours ?
La rose dit à la tombe :
— Que fais-tu de ce qui tombe
Dans ton gouffre ouvert toujours ?

La rose dit: — Tombeau sombre,
De ces pleurs je fais dans l’ombre
Un parfum d’ambre et de miel.
La tombe dit: — Fleur plaintive,
De chaque âme qui m’arrive
Je fais un ange du ciel.

Mathilde also reads the English translation ‘The Grave and the Rose’ Mathilde is reading the poem in front of one of her own paintings.

The Grave and The Rose

The Grave said to the Rose,
“What of the dews of dawn,
Love’s flower, what end is theirs?”
“And what of spirits flown,
The souls whereon doth close
The tomb’s mouth unawares?”
The Rose said to the Grave.

The Rose said, “In the shade
From the dawn’s tears is made
A perfume faint and strange,
Amber and honey sweet.”
“And all the spirits fleet
Do suffer a sky-change,
More strangely than the dew,
To God’s own angels new,”
The Grave said to the Rose


Couchcast: ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling read by Jason Couch

Written in 1910 for his little boy, Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘If’ talks about overcoming difficulties in life and ultimately how to be a good human being.

If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;   
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;   
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!