The Last Days of the Ceausescus

Re-enactment of the Ceausescu-Trial


“The Last Hours of Elena and Nicolae Ceauşescu” is the story of the downfall of the despotic ruling couple in post-war Europe and of ordinary people who, in the chaos of the revolution, became players on the stage of world history. It is simultaneously the story of a revolution in which an entire nation rose up against its oppressors, only to be cheated out of the actual change promised by its new rulers. Only recently did those soldiers and citizens involved break their silence, making an exact reconstruction of this original event of European unity possible.


In the Winter of 2009/10, the IIPM – International Institute of Political Murder (Zurich/Berlin), under the artistic direction of Milo Rau will be bringing the historical events of December 1989 to the stages of Germany, Romania and Switzerland. After extensive local research, the IIPM succeeded in establishing contact with those persons directly involved in the revolution and the trial of the Ceauşescu’s: The general, who betrayed them, the officer, who captured them, the soldier, who shot them, but also with dissidents, politicians of the transitional government, revolutionaries as well as the people on the street. From within, with the help of the personal views of those involved, “The Last Hours of Elena and Nicolae Ceauşescu” makes directly palpable the atmosphere of those days of euphoria, uncertainty and betrayal. The final dramatically-condensed subjective images culminate in the complete re-enactment of the kangaroo trial against the Ceauşescu’s. On stages rebuilt as copies of the original scene, the audience plays eye-witness to this pivotal event in history. World history is within arm’s reach  and documentary theatre becomes a meticulously researched and highly political resurrection of images and memories.


After previews in the Odeon Theater in Bucharest, the premiere will be shown at Hebbel am Ufer (HAU) in Berlin, in the Schlachthaus Theater in Berne, in the Theaterhaus Gessnerallee in Zurich and in Südpol in Lucerne.



Idea, Book and Artistic Direction: Milo Rau

Direction: Milo Rau and Simone Eisenring

Production and Dramaturgy: Jens Dietrich

With: Victoria Cocias, Constantin Cojocaru, Constantin Draganescu,
Alexandru Mihaescu, Eugen Cristian Motriuc und Mircea Rusu


Production of IIPM Berlin/Zürich in Co-Production with Migros Kulturprozent Schweiz, KG Botschafter Berlin, Hebbel am Ufer Berlin, Schlachthaus Theater Bern, Theaterhaus Gessnerallee Zürich, Südpol Luzern, Teatrul Odeon Bukarest, NFP Berlin and Langfilm Zürich.


Funded by Hauptstadtkulturfonds Berlin, Migros Kulturprozent Schweiz, Pro Helvetia – Schweizer Kulturstiftung, Kulturstiftung St.Gallen, Ernst Göhner Stiftung, Kanton Luzern, Schering Stiftung Berlin, Stadt und Kanton Bern, Rumänisches Kulturinstitut Berlin, GGG Basel, Deutsche Botschaft Bukarest, Schweizer Botschaft Bukarest, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Goetheinstitut Bukarest, Osteuropainstitut der Universität Zürich, Europe is East, ARD Erstes Deutsches Fernsehen – Studio Wien.


Premiere: 18 December 2009, HAU 2 Berlin