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Ohnsorg Theater on its former site at the Großen Bleichen in Hamburg

The Ohnsorg Theater in Hamburg, Germany is a stage where plays are performed in Platt and play a major role in spreading the knowledge of this language. Founded in 1902 by Dr. Richard Ohnsorg (1876–1947), broadcasts of its comedies on the NDR have made it and its main star Heidi Kabel popular in many parts of Germany and beyond. However, although famous for its comedies, the theatre also performs more serious works of literature and musical theatre.


The theatre was founded by Dr. Richard Ohnsorg in 1902 as Dramatische Gesellschaft Hamburg, with the stated purpose of providing a stage on which plays in platt could be performed. This was often not possible in other theatres, since platt was generally considered to be a sign of low social rank and rather boorish. Plays, some written in platt, others translated from the German and other languages, were performed in cramped circumstances and various locations. In 1920, its name was changed to Niederdeutsche Bühne Hamburg e. V., indicating [1] the company now had to rely on volunteers to stage any production.[citation needed]

In 1936, the company moved into the former Kleine Lustspielhaus on the Großen Bleichen. The NSDAP was sympathetic to the company's aim to stimulate local culture; the brand comedy delivered by Ohnsorg, and his company was popular. After the war, in 1946 the theatre was renamed the Richard Ohnsorg-Theater, and since 1954 its plays are broadcast by the NDR. Especially during the 1960s and 70s its productions made the cast hugely popular, especially its main star Heidi Kabel.

The theatre moved into a new larger playhouse in 2011, which was built in the listed Bieberhaus close to the Deutsches Schauspielhaus and Hamburg Hauptbahnhof. A part of the square in front of the theatre was renamed after Heidi Kabel right before the theatre moved.


  1. ^ The letters e.V. stand for Eingetragener Verein, which, under German law, can only be run by volunteers