Learning German (badly)

by Tim Luscombe

With Brexit looming, British playwright and celebrated theatre director, Tim Luscombe, has to understand where he belongs: England or Europe. Meanwhile, he also has to pass the German language exam to become a naturalised citizen of Germany. 

A dark comedy of becoming and belonging, learning (badly) and loving strongly. An ode to a potential union, a lament for lost citizenship and a celebration of life, theatre director Tim Luscombe’s comic diary places him in the cosmopolitan bubble of Berlin where he juggles German class and the work of adapting Jane Austen's Emma.


Witty, charming and always enlightening, Learning German (badly) reflects with deep sadness the reactions of a fierce Remainer when the UK elects to leave the EU, the comedy darkening further as Tim’s priorities and sense of himself as a European shift. A political union is torn apart while a personal union deepens.

Available in both print and ebook.

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"A wonderfully entertaining and insightful work that is ethnographic in the best sense; acutely observed, nicely contextualised and highly reflexive. Parts are incredibly honest, even raw, and we really get a sense that this is Luscombe being open about himself, warts and all, which is great."

Cris Shore, Professor of Anthropology, Goldsmiths University of London

"Not many know and love Europe and our complex relationship with it, like Luscombe. And no-one can communicate that with such fantastically self-deprecating wit."

Federay Holmes, Associate Artist, Globe Theatre, London

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