Hamburg/Cuxhaven.

He wanted to enchant children with his stories and make them laugh. And that is exactly what he has done successfully for many years.

Whether as a circus clown, storyteller, writer or musical author – Christian Berg has inspired and entertained countless children and adults with his work.

Now the North Rhine-Westphalia native has surprisingly passed away at the age of 55. After musicals like “Oh How Beautiful Panama,” “Jim Button” and “The Jungle Book,” Berg was celebrated as the king of children’s musicals.

surprise death

“We mourn the loss of our father, husband, friend and colleague. A fighter and a dreamer who took deep pride in enchanting his audience. We are grateful for his love, which he carried into our lives, the theaters and the hearts of spectators young and old,” the family said. Berg was married and had a son. His death was a surprise. Despite health issues, his untimely end was not predictable, he added. The family and the agent would not provide further information about Berg’s disease. Berg lived with his family in Cuxhaven.

Christian Berg began his career as a circus clown at the age of 17. At the age of two, after a trip to the circus, he knew he wanted to be a clown, he told the German Press Agency in Hamburg in 2018. After studying theater, he eventually founded a traveling theater for children. He liked to describe himself as a fairy tale maker and storyteller or – ironically as he was affectionate – a “fuzzy child”.

In total, he created – partly with singer-songwriter Konstantin Wecker – more than 30 musicals for young audiences. Including a version of “Jim Button” with an alarm clock which, according to the agent, attracted more than 350,000 visitors. Berg has also had success as a book author, most recently with “Rumpelröschen and the 13th Fairy”. According to their own statements, more than eight million viewers have seen Berg’s family productions.

Lots of imagination and attention to detail

Hamburg’s Senator for Culture Carsten Brodsa (SPD) paid tribute to the music creator on Twitter: “With passion, spirit and a lot of seriousness, Christian Berg opened up the world of the stage especially to children and thus gave them a voice. His untimely death leaves a painful void. He will be missed!”

His work was characterized by a lot of imagination, attention to detail and strong stories about courage, self-confidence and tolerance. Berg enjoyed high status in the scene. However, he was not enriched by his works. In 2013, he even had to file for bankruptcy and sell the rights to his plays. It was always only others who made a lot of money, there was little left for himself, he told dpa in 2018. “I leaned on the wrong people, I always wanted make art.”

Berg made art all the way. “The Snow Queen”, “Oliver Twist”, “Of the Fisherman and His Wife”, “Around the World in 80 Days”, “The Canterville Ghost” – Berg was bubbling with ideas and, in some cases, s is even involved as an actor in the scene. For even more great entertainment for children and young people, he founded his own musical company with Paul Glaser in 2017 and immediately found success with the play “Grandfather’s Ghost” at the St. Pauli Theater. In the winter of 2021, “The Emperor’s New Clothes” based on a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen was presented at the Ohnsorg Theater.

In addition, in a few days (January 28), as planned, Berg’s next production – “The Hamburg Jungle Book” – will come to the stage of the First Stage Theater in Hamburg. It was Berg’s wish that the play be performed, his agent said Tuesday. “He hoped a lot of spectators would come for him; to show him respect. It would make him very happy, he said.” (dpa)