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…]

Störtebeker’s Falconer

There is a moment during the Störtebeker Festspiele that always amazes the audience, when “Laran” the eagle flows low over their heads and lands on Störtebeker’s arm.  They gasp and those directly under the flight path can feel the rush of air has he silently glides over them.

Stiwi, the bird playing Laran, and his trainer Volker Walter, have been taking part in the play for the past 20 years and travel each year in May from their home in Bavaria to Rügen for the summer season, along with a host of other birds that he trains with his wife.

Last year I was lucky enough to be invited to visit them and see their birds of prey first hand.

The Adlershow at the Störtebeker Theatre in Ralswiek [Read more…]

Störtebeker 2016: Matters of Life and Death

It is the year 1397.  Around the Baltic Sea a number of big players are preparing to invade Visby on the the island of Gotland off the coast of Sweden, where are group known as the “Victual Brothers” – who earn a living from piracy – have taken refuge.  Among those preparing to act are the knights of the Teutonic Order, based in Marienburg (now known as Malbork and located in Poland).

With Visby on the left of the stage and the Marienburg on the right, this is the setting for the 2016 edition of the Störtebeker Festspiele on the Island of Rügen.

Visby - Herzog Johann's ArrivalVisby

The story continues pretty much where it left off at the end of last year, with Klaus Störtebeker and his men now settled is Visby and the town fortified ready for the attack.  The play deals with the events in both towns, as the battle draws closer, with some outsiders trying to find a peaceful solutions, and others spying on the groups and selling the information back to the others. [Read more…]

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