The presentation of social satire in a contemporary theatrical style has been the credo of the four person cabaret ensemble the Stachelschweine (The Porcupines) for over 65 years. Based in Berlin's Charlottenburg district, the streetwise cabaret actors drill into political phrases and social mores until they hit a nerve. The Stachelschweine was the first postwar cabaret to open in Germany in October 1949 near the Kurfürstendamm and was founded by the actor Rolf Ulrich with colleagues from the acting class of the Deutsches Theater. The name was borrowed from the 1920s magazine, Das Stachelschwein (The Porcupine), edited and published by the writer and satirist Hans Reimann.
In the early years, the troupe advertised in pyjamas on the Kurfürstendamm, tempting the Berliners to the ticket office with their cry of "pro Kopp een Knopp" (a penny a head). Initially playing in the legendary basement jazz club Badewanne (Bathtub) in Nürnberger Straße, they moved to the dilapidated Burgkeller and then to the Ewige Lampe (Eternal Flame) pub in Rankestraße. Since 1965, the privately financed Stachelschweine has been housed in the basement of the Europa Centre on Breitscheidplatz. The charming theatre offers 331 seats in the stalls as well as at tables where drinks can be ordered and enjoyed during the performance. There is also a small bar in the foyer with seating for around 20 people.