Port in Air goes to Brighton Fringe Festival


Germany’s celebrated Port in Air goes to Brighton Fringe for the first time this May!


Ever wanted to be more than just a victim of gravity? How, in an age that wobbles between apocalyptic pathos and brain-dead boredom, can we still hit the dizzy heights of the sublime? Port in Air tries it with terror, with beauty, with laughter and tears. With verbal fireworks, physical percussion and original live music. And if all else fails, there’s always the serenity of shopping. Written and directed by Richard Aczel.


The Warren: Studio 2

Wednesday 18 May - 6.45pm

Thursday 19 May - 6.45pm

Friday 20 May - 6.45pm

Saturday 21 May - 6.45pm


“A philosophical masterpiece, unique in today’s theatre landscape”

(Kölnische Rundschau)


“Richard Aczel’s plays are miniature symphonies: linguistically melodic, lyrical, emotionally charged... magnificent theatre.”

(Kölner Stadtanzeiger)


Premiere: Hardly Still Walking, Not Yet Flying


A new piece by Richard Aczel premieres on December 11th at Artheater.


There are two mountains on which the weather is bright and clear. One is the mountain of the animals, the other is the mountain of the gods. Between the two mountains lies the shadowy valley of men. If one of the men happens to gaze upwards, he is seized by a fateful, insatiable longing: he who knows that he does not know longs for those that do not know that they do not know, and those who know that they know.

(Paul Klee)


An experiment is underway in the valley in between. How can earthbound beings, neither animals nor gods, break free from their chains and fly? How can they know the wonder that lifts them from their everyday mediocrity and transports them into the realm of the sublime?


They try it with beauty, they try it with terror, with religious fervour, with the power of nature, with war, with kitsch, and, if all else fails … they go shopping.


Through a dialogic dance of body and words, a haunting sound-world and original live music, Port in Air explores the meaning of the sublime in an age caught between pre-programmed fun and apocalyptic pathos.


December 11th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th @ 20.00

artheater, ehrenfeldgürtel 127, 50825 Köln


To reserve tickets please email Maria at portinair@gmail.com








THEATERINSTALLATION "Too much/Too Little Information"

Port in Air presented on "Open Campus" at the University of Cologne a theatre installation.



13. Kölner Theaternacht: Meistersingermaschine



Port in Air presented on 02. Oktober at the 13. Kölner Theaternacht in cooperation with the artheater a foretaste of what is coming in November.




Photos: André Valente

RESTAGING - Harold Pinter's "OLD TIMES"


”There are some things one remembers even though they may never have happened. There are things I remember which may never have happened but as I recall them so they take place."


PERFORMANCES on 6./7./8. November 2013 in the Artheater Köln


Cast & Crew:


Deeley - André Valente

Kate - Sarah Freihoff

Anna - Jana Steinheuer


Director - Lily McLeish

Stage Design - Anne Schwarzenberg

Costumes - Alice Müller

Light & Sound - Henning Vahlbruch




Photos by Rolf Franke

Theatre Installation "The Experiment" at the University of Cologne






Edited by Lily McLeish

Port in Air presented in November 2012 in cooperation with the artheater: William Shakespeares Hamlet

Photos: Rolf Franke


Hamlet’s dead father tells Hamlet to act: so he acts, and he acts and he acts.


Trapped in the no-man’s-land between play and deed, seeming and being, the court of Ellsinore disintegrates into a shameless reality show. Who plays true and who false: King, Prince and servants, or the wandering players who act out the “true” story of Hamlet’s father’s death? Only an engagement with death – as the most extreme form of being – offers a way out of the prison of Denmark and back to authentic being, acting and – there’s the rub – dying. Through its characteristic visual language, Port in Air explores in Shakespeare’s Hamlet the essence of playing and the play of being.


Director: Richard Aczel

Assistant Director: Laura Casey

Directing intern: Kira Schneider

Light: Kotti J. Pistol


Fabian Aquilino, Johanna Berendes, Stefan Bohne, Thomas Bönnen, Simeon Buß, Anna Fischer, Sarah Freihoff, Wiebke Kuttner, Charlotte Lang, Bernd Rehse, Jana Steinheuer, André Valente, Jonas Zorn

Foto: Lily McLeish - Layout/Design: André Valente



“Sophisticated entertainment […] a classy production, presented with fluid interaction, slick movement and commendable control” (The Stage)


“What all 20 productions demonstrated was the liveliness of the student theatrical imagination across the world. Two in particular showed it taking new directions. Written and directed by Richard Aczel, an Englishman who teaches at Cologne University, Moderate Light Fastness took the metaphor of people changing their relationships like wallpaper literally. Mobile wallpapered panels waltzed around the stage as the cast of five enacted a verbal and visual dance of discontented relationships.” (The Sunday Times, 08.07.2012)


"great show … a very slick, intelligent piece … very modern … very powerful and moving" (Robert Hewison in Spotlight, 17.07.2012)




Port in Air performed Moderate Light Fastness five times at the International Student Drama Festival 2012 in Sheffield.


We are more than happy that our hard work paid off and that we came back to Cologne with two Awards:


Judges Company Award for Acting


Judges Award for Set Design


Thanks to everyone who made this wonderful adventure possible. It was an unforgettable time of personal, artistic and cultural exchange. We are all richer now and are looking forward to working on our future projects with many new impressions and perspectives.


A special thanks goes to KölnAlumni - Freunde und Förderer der Universität zu Köln e.V. for their generous support.


Port in Air, the English language theatre ensemble of the University of Cologne, has been invited to take part in a major International Student Drama Festival (ISDF) in England. ISDF is part of the London 2012 Festival, the finale of the Cultural Olympiad. The festival will feature the best of British work alongside exceptional productions by young people from across the world.

UK Visiting Artists to the festival include: Royal Shakespeare Company, Old Vic Tunnels, and the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art.

Port in Air’s latest production, Moderate Light Fastness – performed at Artheater Köln in February with further performances in May and June – is one of ten international shows chosen from over 150 to feature at the festival in June.

Port in Air is the only company chosen from Germany. They will perform alongside companies from Japan, Israel, Palestine, Iran, Australia, Zimbabwe and the universities of Harvard, Oxford and Cambridge.

Photo: Liliana Gnap


Port in Air's Shakespeare on Edge was nominated for the Kölner Theaterpreis 2011.