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Sven Ratzke

Sven Ratzke - foto Dennis Veldman
Sven Ratzke - foto Dennis Veldman

(The Netherlands, 1977) is a Dutch-German singer, entertainer and composer whose one-man shows are internationally successful. He plays lead roles in musical theatre productions such as Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Cabaret and Rocky Horror Show. He tours with orchestras such as the Metropole and Holland Baroque. Since 1999 he has created his own shows, such as Starman and Where Are We Now (about David Bowie), Homme Fatale and Nachtspiele (Nocturnal Games). He has also worked with many international artists, including Nina Hagen, Rufus Wainwright, Hanna Schygulla, Ellen ten Damme, Claron Mcfadden, Frank Boeijen and The Tiger Lillies. In the 2023-24 theatre season, Ratzke takes on the title role in Marlene, a new interpretation of the work by British playwright Pam Gems.


Archive available for: Sven Ratzke

  • Writers Unlimited 2024

    You Do Something to Me - Connie Palmen and Sven Ratzke on Marlene Dietrich

    With: Connie Palmen, Jetse de Jong, Roos van Rijswijk, Sven Ratzke

    Top author Connie Palmen and international star artist Sven Ratzke worked together on a theatre production about Marlene Dietrich. Palmen co-wrote the text and Ratzke interprets it in the show. They talked about their collaboration and about Dietrich, their collabprations, masculinity. femininity and gender in performace. Writer and journalist Roos van Rijswijk moderated the discussion.

    Sven performed some famous Dietrich songs, accompanied by his pianist Jetse de Jong: Illusions from the 1948 Billy Wilder film A Foreign Affair and, both from 1930, Wenn ich mir was wünschen dürfte and Falling in Love Again.

    Marlene can be seen in Dutch theatres as of 28 February 2024. A whirlwind musical theatre show about Dietrich the legend, the mysterious and glamorous film goddess, who had a second international career a chansonnière and then chose complete isolation for the last years of her life in her Parisian apartment. The show gives insight into the insanity, the showbiz and Marlene's memories, and culminates in her 1960 Berlin concert. Ratzke, known for productions such as the Rocky Horror Show, Hedwig and the Angry Inch and his famous one-man performances, embodies Marlene. Like no other, he is able to switch between genders and interpret the work of icons. Infused with wonderful music and framed by Palmen's texts and the costumes of Ian Griffiths (art direction by Max Mara), Marlene provides a glimpse into the soul of a world-famous legend.

    All her reading life, Connie Palmen has been mesmerised by female artistry. In her latest book Voornamelijk vrouwen (Mostly Women), she describes them: women like Marilyn Monroe, Marguerite Duras, Patricia Highsmith and Jane Bowles, who each in their own way crossed the boundaries of prevailing morality and their gender. The book is Palmen's literary paean to female creative power and autonomy. And it is, above all, an exploration of her own writing, reflecting all her literary themes.

    Festival tip: Palmen also took part in the grand festival evenings Friday Night Unlimited (19 January) and Saturday Night Unlimited (20 January)! On Friday evening, she and Annelies Verbeke talked about how writers speed up or slow down time in De vluchtige tijd; on Saturday evening, in The Voice - in search of the character's soul, she delivered a keynote speech about the voice of characters, and discussed this further with writers Sacha Bronwasser and Celeste Ng.