On Sunday in Berlin Friedrichstadt-Palast celebrates 30 years in its current location. To mark the building’s anniversary, the “stage of superlatives” hopes to set another record: a Guinness World Record. Measuring 555 meters in length, and with 320 kg of yeast dough, 150 kg of fruity strawberry jam, 1,000 eggs, 40 kg of creamy sugar frosting and 200 kg of flour, the Palace hopes to create the longest row of jelly doughnuts in the world. With a total of 5,555 jelly doughnuts (elsewhere in Germany, but not in Berlin, jelly doughnuts are called “Berliners”), the baked artwork will be arranged in the foyer. If placed in a row, the jelly doughnuts would stretch all the way to the Pergamon Museum on Museum Island.
Thirty years ago, all high-ranking GDR state officials attended the opening ceremony for Friedrichstadt-Palast’s new building. Five years later the Wall came down and for almost a quarter of a century, the new Palace located at Friedrichstraße 107 has been making show revue history for the whole of Germany. The old Palace was built 95 years ago in 1919 under the direction of Max Reinhardt. Initially called the ‘Großes Schauspielhaus’ (Big Theatre), it was renamed Friedrichstadt-Palast in 1947. The old building at Am Zirkus 1 had structural problems and was forced to close in 1980. Built in 1984, the new building is one of the most important examples of socialist postmodern architecture (era: 1980-1990). Both grandiose and functional, it was the last official building of its kind to be built in the GDR.
Together with the Berliners and “Berliners” (which is what jelly doughnuts are called by non-locals), we will celebrate the building’s anniversary. To that end, the Palace is raffling off 300 exclusive backstage tickets (each for two people and up to two children). With the ticket, winners can attend the World Record Attempt (4 p.m.), the equipment show (5 p.m.) designed especially for the anniversary celebration and, afterwards, they can also take a tour of the biggest theatre stage in the world. The following equipment will be featured: the 225 tonne pool of water, the movable stage portals with built-in lights, the disk pyramid with adjustable height, and one of the most powerful sound systems in the world.
After Pravin Patel, the judge from the Guinness World Records in London, officially assesses the doughnut caravan and verifies it as successful, actress Julia Richter and Managing Director Berndt Schmidt will open the sugar-coated buffet. Berlin native Julia Richter began her acting career in the Palace’s Young Ensemble, which she belonged to for almost ten years. Julia Richter’s face is a familiar one. People know her from various shows, including the detective TV show ‘Polizeiruf 110,’ the crime series ‘Der Bulle von Tölz,’ and the early evening show on ARD, ‘Heiter bis tödlich.’ With the German-Indian film ‘Raju,’ Richter was nominated for the 2012 Oscar in the category Best Short Film.
For its anniversary, the Palace can only show impressive figures: more than half a million guests, about 110,000 incoming calls in the course of the year, 4,000 costumes on clothing racks with a total length of 320 metres, 1,950 guest performances, a Young Ensemble currently featuring 248 kids and young adults, as well as dancers from 23 countries. All 14.2 million admission tickets sold since 1984 could form a beeline from Berlin-Mitte to Athens, and the ad with the ‘woman in the water dress,’ which can be seen all over town on BVG buses, travels 376 km daily. Moreover, the Palace also has the biggest theatre stage in the world, the longest chorus line in the world with 32 beautiful dancers, who have all been trained in classical ballet and have a “total leg length” of 67.2 meters (the length of all 64 legs added together).
“In 30 years, a remarkable 14.2 million guests have visited us. Guests of every age, from every social class, from Germany and all over the world. The Palace is once again a sparkling jewel in the crown of Berlin’s culture scene. It is part of Berlin’s soul in the same way that Brandenburg Gate and the TV Tower are,” says Managing Director Dr. Berndt Schmidt.