4+ years

45 min.


Dance Theatre


Director / Concept: Sanja Frühwald
Concept: Till Frühwald (Vrum Performing Arts Collective)
Stage / costumes: Claudia Kalinski
Musical direction: Imre Lichtenberger Bozoki
Dramaturgy: Margrit Sengebusch


Marie // Silvia Weiskopf
Oskar // Philipp Noack
Paul // Pablo Alvarado


Production: Schauspiel Essen


Premiere on 21 October 2023

The Great Word Factory

based on the picture book by Agnès de Lestrade


Speaking is expensive in “The Great Word Factory”.


The story takes place in a country where people hardly speak at all. Words are produced in the factory. To be able to speak them, you have to buy and swallow them. You can only afford valuable words if you are rich. That’s why many people have to search through the rubbish for discarded words in order to find a language at all. Some words are on sale. And if you’re lucky, sometimes words fly through the air. Paul catches three of them with a butterfly net. If he had the money for it, he would like to tell Marie that he loves her.


“The Great Word Factory” talks about poverty and exclusion as well as belonging and connection. The poetic picture book classic from 2009 has won several awards and has been translated into over 30 languages so far. In the production for Schauspiel Essen, there will be no language barriers for the audience – the piece will be understandable without knowledge of a particular language. The children are at the centre of the action and are invited to join in and play with words themselves.