Trummi Kaput

Photo from the play Trummi Kaput.

This adaptation of one of Volker Ludwig’s earlier plays. It’s about the son of a toy factory owner, who rents his toys to his underprivileged friends.

Volker runs Grips Theater Berlin, one of the world’s great theatres. Volker is a very funny, very brilliant, very political man. If you ever have the chance to go to Berlin, don’t miss Grips.


“Kids sit in rapt attention as the story of Trummi Kaput unfolds. Onstage, three kids notice their parents are angry all the time. “Why?” One of them asks his mother. He gets his answer when she shows him what it’s like working on an assembly line eight hours a day. Observation No.1—out of discussion comes communication and understanding.

There is a rich kid, Bobby, who hangs around with the others. He’s obnoxious, but his dad owns a toy factory (the one where the mom works) and Bobby has this great scam going. He gets all the latest plastic trash-toys from his dad and then rents them out to the other kids for exorbitant rates, paid for either in cash or personal services. It’s tyranny, of course, but the three kids allow it because they’ve become slaves to consumerism. And the mom at the factory wants a remote control color TV and her boy wants a robot doll. When they compare notes, they both realize they don’t really need either. Observation No.2—out of communication and understanding comes awareness of situations.

The boy rents the robot doll and accidentally breaks it. Mom tries to steal a replacement part from the factory and gets fired. The kids decide to do something about it. Observation No. 3—out of awareness of situations comes the willingness to fight together against injustice. The three kids, temporarily cut off from their source of plastic toys, discover how much fun it is just playing around with their imagination. They tell Bobby they don’t need the toys anymore, that they have something better. He tells his dad, who attempts to buy the new “game” by giving the mom her job back but, of course, he loses out because the imagination is not something you buy over the counter. Observation No.4—just struggles are rewarded and the best “toy” of all is the unfettered imagination.

Trummi Kaput is highly refreshing theatre. Production values are superb and the performances of the six member acting company (Ellen Kennedy, Keith Thomas, Wendy Noel, Morris Panych, Barbara Stephen and David Ferry) are first rate.”
—Bob Allen and Ray Chatelin, The Province

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Contact Michael Petrasek at Kensington Literary Representation for performance rights information