Störtebeker 2017: In the Shadow of Death

The end of the cycle at the Störtbeker Festspiele on Rügen can only mean one thing: Klaus Störtebeker is going to lose his head at the end of the evening.  But before we things get that far, there is a story to finish telling.

At the end of the 2016 play, Klaus Störtebeker and his men had moved to the North Sea and it is several years later, now in 1401, that we pick up the story.  Klaus (Bastian Semm) and Goedecke (Andreas Euler) are about to attack one of the stores in Hamburg, where Fronica (Karin Hartmann) is selling fish at the market.  They are successful, ultimately burning down the store after taking the contents back to their ships, but it only makes the elders in Hamburg more determined than ever to capture the pirates.

Klaus Störtebeker (Bastian Semm) coming out of the fogKlaus Störtebeker (Bastian Semm) coming out of the fog

Enter Simon von Ütrecht (Nicolas König) [Read more…]

Hiddensee

Ever since my first visit to Rügen some years ago, the island of Hiddensee, located off Rügen’s western coast, has fascinated me.  Road signs show how to get to the ferry, and yet cars are not allowed on the island.  I had read about how cracks have been appearing for years on the island, and I also knew that in the days of the GDR the island was a resort that was used by musicians and artists, where they could be away from the main part of the country and the Stasi could still keep a close eye on them.  The island’s name even turns up in a song from 1974 called “Du hast den Farbfilm vergessen”.

But with so much else to see on Rügen itself, somehow in my first few visits I never made it to Hiddensee.  So when I received an invitation from Kurdirektor Alfred Langemeyer and the Reederei Hiddensee to visit the island before attending a preview of the Störtebeker Festspiele, the chance was too good to miss. [Read more…]

Vilm Island

Rügen may be the largest of the German islands, but there are several interesting smaller islands dotted around it. One of these islands is called Vilm, and it is part of the South-Eastern Biosphere. As such, the island has special protection. Boats are not allowed within 100m without permission. Swimming is not allowed in that area either.

The eastern side of Vilm, once the place where the GDR leadership bathed.The eastern side of Vilm, once the place where the GDR leadership bathed.

One part of the island is completely out of bounds to visitors, the other is used by a national government agency for nature conservation (Bundesamt für Naturschutz). Visitors here are limited to 30 at any one time, only in organised groups and only along a set path. Even the number of tours each year is limited, so when the Biosphere held a press tour on the island, they had to get special permission to exceed that number! [Read more…]

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