Swiss actor David Bennent was born in Lausanne in 1966. His performance as Oskar Matzerath in Volker Schlöndorff’s film adaptation of Günter Grass’ The Tin Drum made him famous around the world.
From 1990 to 1997 David Bennent was part of British theatre director Peter Brook’s ensemble in Paris, where his debut as Caliban in Brook’s productions of Shakespeare’s The Tempest was enthusiastically received. The other Peter Brook productions he appeared in include L’Homme qui, an adaption of Oliver Sacks’ The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and as Horatio in Qui est là, an adaptation of Hamlet.
As Clov in Joël Jouanneau’s production of Samuel Beckett’s Endgame, he took to the stage together with his father Heinz Bennent. The production received international acclaim and was presented in German and French over 100 times, including at the 1997 Salzburger Festspiele festival.
In 1999 he appeared at the Wiener Akademietheater with his sister Anne Bennent in the world premiere of George Tabori’s Purgatorium, and from 2002 he performed at the Berliner Ensemble in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (director: Leander Haußmann) as well as in Tabori’s Das Erdbeben-Concerto and Lessing’s Die Juden.
Furthermore, he acted in various films including Traumschatten (director: Steffen Groth), Ulzhan – Das vergessene Licht (director: Volker Schlöndorff) and Nebel im August (director: Kai Wessel) and appeared in the final season of the crime drama Schuld nach Ferdinand von Schirach and in Tatort Münster in 2019.
Photo: Esra Rotthoff