Die bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant

By Rainer Werner Fassbinder

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  • Eine Szene aus Die bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant
    © Ingo Höhn
  • Eine Szene aus Die bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant
    © Ingo Höhn
  • Eine Szene aus Die bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant
    © Ingo Höhn
  • Eine Szene aus Die bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant
    © Ingo Höhn

  • 1 hour 30 minutes without break
  • Recommended age: 16+
  • With English subtitles (except for the premiere)

Great emotions on an empty stage

Fassbinder's most frequently performed play is about the fatal sides of desire. It is about love in capitalism: the successful fashion designer Petra von Kant has already thrown her husband and other conventions regarding love overboard. But her new romance is also anything but a utopian place of longing. The relationships with her mistress and with her secretary reveal the true power relations. The private flat becomes the scene of social reckoning. A virtuoso melodrama with six strong female roles.

Together with the dramaturgy, the Basel Kulturhaus Bider & Tanner has curated the book table for our plays for many years. Now this selection of books, CDs, DVDs, catalogues or even sheet music is accessible at any time in the online shop. It's worth browsing regularly.

Book table

With the kind support of the French Embassy in Switzerland and Liechtenstein


Whenever the play appears on stage, praise goes to the titular leading actress. In Basel, it is Carina Braunschmidt who portrays the love-hungry and love-unable Petra. It is pure art of despair what the actress breathlessly delivers over 90 minutes.


Time and again, the players create an impressive intensity on stage. Especially Carina Braunschmidt as Petra von Kant is strong. She is fast, she plays the abysses of her character, she is at the same time wounded, vulnerable and hurting until the catharsis at the end.

SRF 2 Kultur

A gripping theatre of actresses. (...) Petra von Kant on the stage of the Basel Schauspielhaus, that is a thrilling Carina Braunschmidt. The actress throws herself into this immensely difficult role as if there were no tomorrow.

bz Basel

She [Carina Braunschmidt] has palpably assimilated the title role and functions out of it in every movement. The addictive-abysmal and the selfish go organically hand in hand. From this tension she draws a presence and a leadership that always makes her the focus of the evening, without ever having to assert it.


Due to a cancellation, Anna Bergmann, acting director of the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, has taken over the direction and brought great things to the stage in a very short time. She is supported by six outstanding women, with Carina Braunschmidt as Petra von Kant, Mala Emde as Karin Thimm and Sina Kiessling as Marlene giving the plot a vibrant dynamic in the leading roles. The play captivates with the complex relationships of the six women present and their opaque circumstances.

Basler Zeitung