The timely DISTEL (Thistle) Cabaret Theatre has consistently dedicated itself to up to the minute political satire for over six decades. Growing out of a lively postwar cabaret scene, the DISTEL was opened on 2 October 1953. As the first professional cabaret in the GDR, it operated deftly in the catch-22 situation between narrow minded ideological censorship and generous state support in the socialist state of its day. Never a wallflower, it also perversely taunted the contemporary sensibilities during the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, resolutely taking fate into its own hands in a decision to become a privately owned theatre. Since that time the DISTEL's profile has been a thorn in the side of the Reichstag and Chancellery of the reunited German parliament located nearby.
The varied line up of entertainment with plenty of live music, biting parodies, humorous sketches and sarcastic songs is the speciality of this modern ensemble cabaret. And because an absurdist political cabaret is never out of date, the theatre will continue to train the spotlight of its ridicule on everything that is nonsensical and crazy in politics and society.
The DISTEL has always had its home in the front of the Admiralspalast, built in 1911 next to Friedrichstraße Station. In 2012 the DISTEL Studio opened in the same building and has susequently established itself as the platform for 'young cabaret'. Young word smiths, independent theatre groups, poetry slammers and improvised theatre performers offer a lively mixed programme for the twenty-something generation.