Theatre Trips

An Inside Look: Funny Business at The English Theatre of Hamburg

This week, Theatre Trip got to see Funny Business at The English Theatre of Hamburg. This theatre is unique in that they perform a wide variety of plays in their original English versions. Funny Business is a comedic farce written by Derek Benfield and directed by Robert Rumpf. The premiere was on November 14, 2019, and the final performance was on February 1st, 2020.

Location: Hamburg, Germany

Seeing Funny Business at The English Theatre of Hamburg

Funny Business is a story about Ferris, who finds himself having to take over his sister’s hotel while she is on holiday. But not long after getting settled into his new post, he finds out that an anonymous newspaper critic will soon arrive to evaluate the hotel. Poor Ferris just can’t seem to figure out which guest is the critic. And this in turn creates some crazy moments of frustration and confusion for everyone involved.

The cast of Funny Business at The English Theatre of Hamburg.
Photography by Stefan Kock

The role of Ferris is played Stephen Chance, whose high energy and good intentions keep you on your toes. The various hotel guests were played by Debbie Radcliffe, Jan Hirst, Gil Sutherland, and Blake J. Askew. And a special mention for David Habbin, who wonderfully plays Ferris’s unexpected sidekick while somehow keeping this highly animated show a bit more grounded.

As Ferris attempts to please who he assumes to be the hotel critic, we get tangled into more and more misunderstandings, which brings the play to crazy levels of chaos. The once timid audience began to roll with laughter after settling into the second act.

The cast of Funny Business at The English Theatre of Hamburg.
Photography by Stefan Kock

The set design by Mathias Wardeck was a nice surprise as well, especially considering the fact that we have to constantly bounce from the lobby to different hotel rooms. And the attention to detail in the props and technicalities was also seamlessly done – as this is the type of show that one missed prop placement could really complicate the storyline!

The cast of Funny Business.
Photography by Stefan Kock

If you’re looking to either enjoy or improve your English with English theatre while you’re in Hamburg, this is a great option. Their international audience is filled with both native and non-native English speakers, so you’ll be right at home. Cheers for making theatre accessible in Hamburg for both non-German speakers and tourists alike!

Quick Tip #1: The English Theatre of Hamburg hosts occasional “Afternoon Tea Matinees”, which come with tea, scones, jam, and clotted cream!

Quick Tip #2: If you’re seeing a play for educational purposes, The English Theatre of Hamburg also offers study guides➝ to accompany each of their shows.

Have you ever been to The English Theatre of Hamburg?

Or do you plan on seeing this production of Funny Business at The English Theatre of Hamburg? Let us know in the comments! And in the meantime, you can always check out our archive of past theatre visits for even more insight on what’s going on in theaters around the world!

Learn More:

The English Theatre of Hamburg➝

* The featured image is by Stefan Kock.

* A special thanks to The English Theatre of Hamburg for inviting us to the show!

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Stacy Karyn, Author of The English Theatre of Hamburg Review.
Author: Stacy Karyn

Stacy Karyn is the founder of Theatre Trip, author of The Thespian’s Bucket List, and creator of The Cast Album List. She holds a BA in theatre, a TESOL drama certificate, and has worked and interned with Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters.


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