01.06.2023, 20:15 h TICKETS

Opening africologneFESTIVAL, followed by the German Premiere of SAMSON

02.06.2023, 18:30 h TICKETS

Tickets in the various seat categories with early bird discount until 30 April (23h59): 29 to 11 € (reduced). Afterwards VVK + AK 39 to 15 € (reduced).

SCHAUSPIEL KÖLN/Depot 1, Schanzenstr. 6-20, 51063 Köln


LANGUAGES English, isiXhosa, Zulu und French Aria with German, English and French overtitles

DURATION 1 h 40 m

“His people said he was a saviour. More like a loaded gun...” 

In an era of intolerance and polarisation, a young man with a hero mission channels the fury of his subjugated people, and inflicts terror on the population that he holds accountable for their oppression. As the body count mounts, Delilah –an ambivalent enemy agent –seduces and ritually castrates him. His brutal punishment in the detention facilities of the authorities spurs him to an act of suicidal devastation...
SAMSON uproots the popular biblical myth from its religious context, and transplants it into a dystopian contemporary landscape of unbridled capitalism, human displacement, xenophobia and violence. It reflects on the historical injustices and repressed rage that so often underlie the ruthless acts of terror committed by marginalized, alienated men.

Brett Bailey’s SAMSON is a hard-edged, ritualized music-theatre production, set to a rousing live electronic score composed by one of South Africa’s foremost musicians, Shane Cooper. The work features opera, choral vocals, tight ensemble work and sweeping video scenography.


The production premiered in South Africa in 2019; played at the Festival d’Avignon and the GREC Festival in Barcelona in 2021; and Nanterre Amandiers, France in January 2023 and the International Theatre Festival of Kerala, India in February 2023.




SAMSON was awarded Best Music Theatre Production and Best Director, and nominated for Best Production, Best Design and Best Costumes at South Africa’s national theatre awards, the Kyknet Fiestas, in 2020. It was one of 6 winners in the 2021 global Music Theatre NOW! Competition.


TEXT/ DIRECTOR Brett Bailey | MUSICAL DIRECTOR/ COMPOSER Shane Cooper | PERFORMERS Apollo Ntshoko, Cebolenkosi Zuma, Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi, Marlo Minnaar, Zanele Mbizo, Thukela Maka, Zimbini Makwetu | MUSICIAN Nkosenathi Koela/ RECORDED MUSIC Shane Cooper, Jonno Sweetman, Mikhaela Kruger | CHOREOGRAPHY Elvis Sibeko | SCENOGRAPHY Brett Bailey, Tanya P. Johnson | VIDEOGRAPHY Kirsti Cumming | TECHNICAL PRODUCTION MANAGER/ RE-LIGHTER Nicolaas De Jongh | SOUND DESIGN/ SOUND ENGINEER Carlo Thompson | STAGE MANAGER Miliswa Mbandazayo | PRODUCER Barbara Mathers (Third World Bunfight) | INTERNATIONAL REPRESENTATION Quaternaire - Felicitas Willems & Sarah Ford 


Brett Bailey is a South African director, visual artist and artistic director of the theater company Third World Bunfight. He has worked across South Africa, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Haiti and Europe. His iconoclastic and acclaimed works take various artistic forms: installations, performances, plays, operas or musical performances. They tirelessly question the dynamics of the post-colonial world, such as Big Dada, Ipi Zombi, Orfeus, Sanctuary or Exhibit B. His works are performed throughout Europe, Australia, Africa and Latin America and have received numerous awards. In 2019 he was made a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French government.