Virtuoso movement theater for everyone.

Hans was Heiri

Zimmerman & de Perrot

You are looking at a performance from our archive

You hold your breath as you watch seven performers dance, climb and tumble in a fully rotating house on stage. With a mix of acrobatics, dance and music the Swiss ensemble Zimmermann & de Perrot literally put day to day situations in a different perspective, exaggerating them, twisting them and taking them­ to new extremes. Hans was Heiri, meaning six of one or half a dozen of the other, deals with people always wanting to be different from one another, while actually being very similar. With a light touch, an acute sense of humour and perfect timing the company unfold their wondrous universe. Virtuoso physical theatre for all ages from 10 years old.



concept, direction, staging
Zimmermann + de Perrot
Dimitri de Perrot
Martin Zimmermann
Sabine Geistlich
created with
Tarek Halaby
Dimitri Jourde
Dimitri de Perrot
Gaël Santisteva
Mélissa Von Vépy
Methinee Wongtrakoon
Martin Zimmermann
decor construction
Ingo Groher
Christiane Voth
Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne
Franziska Born
Ursula Degen
Andy Neresheimer
oeil extérieur
Eugénie Rebetez
Marcel Fässler
yoga teacher
Dominique Müller
light manager
Catherine Rutishauser
sound management
Andy Neresheimer
stage manager
Roger Studer
stage direction
Jan Olieslagers
technical production
Ursula Degen
Franziska Martin
administration, booking
Alain Vuignier
internationale producer
Claire Béjanin
Verein Zimmermann + de Perrot
Athens + Epidaurus Festival
Düsseldorf Festival
ECT/SCT Scène Catalane Transfrontalière – Théâtre de l’Archipel (Perpignan) + El Canal
Centre d’Arts Scéniques (Salt)
Equinoxe, scène nationale de Châteauroux
Espace Jean Legendre
Théâtre de Compiègne
International Istanbul Theater Festival
La Filature, scène nationale de Mulhouse
Le Lieu Unique, scène nationale de Nantes
Le – Maillon, Théâtre de Strasbourg – scène européenne
Le Volcan – scène nationale du Havre
Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg
Migros culture percentage
Movimentos Festwochen der Autostadt in Wolfsburg
Fondazione Campania dei Festival – Napoli Teatro Festival Italia
Théâtre de la Ville, Paris
Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne
Zürcher Theater Spektakel
with support of
Ernst Göhner Stiftung
SSA – Swiss society of authors
with thanks to
Theater Neumarkt, Zurich

background information

The Swiss duo Zimmermann & de Perrot have been making virtuoso physical theatre since the late 1990's, in which they portray their wonder about man and his world. Zimmermann is the acrobat and the dancer; de Perrot the musician, master of the turntables. Jointly they create the choreographies for their productions. They call it theatre, because they cannot think of a more appropriate word for it, but conventional theatre it is certainly not. Their pieces are based on precise observation, humorous repetition and putting everyday situations in a completely different perspective – often literally so. Sometimes the actors take the role of stage props and vice versa. It's the human being with all his vulnerabilities and contradictions who takes centre stage in their productions. The characters they put on stage are frequently forced into impossible situations.

However physical their theatre, and however light their touch and humorous their approach, every production is not only the result of many hours of hard work but also rooted in a deeper philosophical issue. Hans was Heiri deals with the issue of our obsession with trying to be different from our neighbours, our anxiety over drowning in the masses. The result is that we in so doing cannot share our inner feelings with other people, making us all remain lonely people living together. Hans was Heiri, which is a Swiss saying meaning 'much of the same', starts with a sequence in which dolls modelled on the actors slowly, almost magically come to life, then change into the actors themselves. Subsequently, the prop of all props appears on stage: a house which can spin 360 degrees like a giant wheel of fortune, divided in four rooms. The six performers literally need to try and keep up, while the wheel keeps on turning like a world that is completely indifferent to these mortal souls. The actors – each and every one of them virtuoso acrobats – clash with chairs and tables, walk on walls and ceilings or have to hold on in the most precarious of situations in order not to come clattering to the ground. Soon enough they come crashing – again, literally – into each other's rooms, spawning comical, hilarious, painful and even some poignant situations, in which the six performers combine breathtaking acrobatics with modern dance, slapstick comedy and a keen sense of humour and timing.

Sometimes the wheel will slow down or come to a stop, as in the scene in which a Y-fronts wearing yogi leads a crash course in bikram yoga. Squished into a tiny room the scantily clad bodies hilariously attempt to achieve inner harmony when the world starts turning again and the inner peace they searched for is rudely interrupted. It's one of the many witty, funny and touching scenes in this awe-inspiring spectacle, time and again reminding us that we are only tiny little specks on this giant earth. That the world will keep on turning and we should just make the best of it. But also that we are not alone in this. After all, we're all in the same boat – strike that: wheel.


Zimmermann & de Perrot is an independent Swiss theatre collective led by Martin Zimmermann and Dimitri de Perrot, aided by a team of some forty acrobats, dancers, actors, technicians and many other contributors. The company create a very physical, unconventional form of theatre, in which humour and acrobatics go hand in hand. At the centre of their performances is always the individual human being with all his vulnerabilities and contradictions. Martin Zimmermann and Dimitri de Perrot have been working together in the theatre since 1999, when they staged their first joint production Gopf, then still under the name of MzdP. Then followed Hoi, Janei and Anatomie Anomalie – their last performance under the name of Compagnie Anomalie. From 2006 they have been working as Zimmermann & de Perrot, creating Gaff Aff, Öper Öpis, Chouf Ouchouf and Hans was Heiri, which premiered in 2011.


Dimitri de Perrot was born in 1976 in Neuchatel in Switzerland. After having attended the Kunstgymnasium in Zurich, he self-taught as a musician and composer. In 1998 he started focusing on theatre.


Martin Zimmermann was born in 1970 in Winterthur in Switzerland. He studied set design at the Centre National des Arts du Cirque (C.N.A.C) in France. In 1998 he returned to Zurich. Since, he has worked as a choreographer and director in the theatre.

In 2009 Zimmermann & de Perrot were awarded the Swiss Prize for Choreography. They also won the Cultural Advancement Prize of the Canton of Zurich in 2010, the Swiss Design Prize in 2008, 2010 and 2011 (in the set design category) and the Swiss Innovation Prize in 2008.