Magda Toffler

Boris Nikitin (CH) in coproductie met Frascati Producties
Thu 14 Dec ’23 and Fri 15 Dec ’23
With Magda Toffler Boris Nikitin makes a deep drilling into the hidden layers of 20th century Europe.
Thu 14 Dec ’23
Fri 15 Dec ’23

Magda Toffler is raw, frontal, at the same time precisely composed. An emotional as well as intellectual border crossing of the theater.

In Magda Toffler Boris Nikitin undertakes genealogical research and looks at the history of his grandmother. After she dies at the age of 87, he learns that she originally came from a Jewish family. In 1944/45, she had to hide for months in a barn in eastern Slovakia, while most of her family lost their lives in the German death camps. She kept all this to herself, started a family and became the first professor of chemistry in the young socialist Czechoslovakia. She even hid the secret from her daughters.

  • Duration: 70 min.
  • Language: English
  • On thu 14 dec. part of the We Are Public programme


“It is very quiet in the theatre. (...) There is no "good evening" and "goodbye", but only a sudden coming and going. And in between, the pages of life are spread out, read out, tasted, thought through.”

“The text is just twenty pages long. And yet it contains an entire century […]” Nürnberger Nachrichten/Nürnberger Zeitung

“Because no one hears anyone else say anything, no one says anything." In this seeming tautology, Nikitin captures the manipulative power of surveillance states, documentation technologies, and collectives.Süddeutsche Zeitung

“What a risk! You can hardly expose yourself more. It could become exhibitionistic and embarrassing, slipping into the anecdotal. But the opposite happens. He gains strength and moves the audience. By publicly showing his doubts about himself and his vulnerability, they become his strength.” Bajour

About Boris Nikitin

Boris Nikitin, born in Basel and the son of Ukrainian-Slovakian-French-Jewish immigrants, is a theatre director and author. He is considered one of the most important voice in contemporary German-language theatre. For over thirteen years, his productions, texts and happenings have dealt with the representation and production of identity and reality. They are border crossings between illusion theatre and performance, between documentary and propaganda. 

Nikitin's works are raw and confrontational, yet always precisely composed and always searching for the boundaries and breaking points of the aesthetic. "Like few others, Boris Nikitin is currently leading theatre to a critical point," writes the German professional journal Theater heute. In his last plays and texts, Nikitin increasingly deals with the relationship between art and illness. In 2017, Nikitin was awarded the J.M.R. Lenz Drama Prize of the city of Jena for his complete works. In 2020 he received the Swiss Theatre Prize. Attempt on Dying was invited to the Swiss Theatertreffen in 2021 and came to Frascati in 2022.

concept, text, performance Boris Nikitin production managment Annett Hardegen outside-eye Annett Hardegen, Matthias Meppelink in coproduction with Frascati Producties, It’s The Real Thing, steirischen herbst 22, Staatstheater Nürnberg Kaserne Basel, Ringlokschuppen Ruhr, Théâtre Vidy Lausanne, HAU - Hebbel am Ufer Berlin, Theater Chur and Omanut with the support of Fachausschuss Tanz & Theater der Kantone Basel-Stadt und Basel-Landschaft, Pro Helvetia, Stanley Thomas Johnson Stiftung, Goethe-Institut the first draft of this work was commissioned by Omanut