The lies and lottery of four sisters

Winning the lottery often means not having anything to worry about in life, but for Henriette (Uta Patzina) in the new play “Schwestern” (Sisters) from the Neue Bühne Oberursel the sudden windfall is a problem.  See had promised her sister Mathilde (Anna Altheim) not to play the lottery any more, and all of a sudden she is left with having to explain where all of the money came from, without Sister Notburga (Gerlinda Haas-Schmidt) from the local convent finding out an wanting a donation.  And she doesn’t want the sisters’ domestic employee Frau Bastelhuber (Margit Altheim) finding out about it either.

Luckily Henriette can count of the support of her other sisters Irene (Barbara Semeras) and Charlotte (Gabriele Schweickhardt), the latter being a solicitor who comes up with a plan to explain the money as being an inheritance from long-forgotten relatives – a useful solution considering that Henriette’s daughter Christine (Kerstin Grunwald) already has plans for part of the money and Henritte’s and Mathilde’s house needs urgent repairs done to it.

The only flaw in the plan is not knowing if Mathilde’s uncles Willibald and Paul (Beppo Bachfischer and Rainer Böhrig) are really dead.

Henriette (Uta Patzina) checking the lottery numbers

Henriette (Uta Patzina) checking the lottery numbers

At the premiere on Friday, 7th November, 2014, the guests were not only able to enjoy a sucessful performance, they were treated to cabaret seating rather than the usual rows.  The play is an adaptation by director Christel Popadiuk of an idea from Karlheinz Gericke, and she was pleased with the result.  “I thought it was a wonderful performance” she commented afterwards.

The performers not only knew their lines well, they were convincing in their parts too.  Uta Patzina as Henriette in particular not only had a lot of lines to learn – after all, she was in almost every scene – but during the evening she worked her way through six different outfits.  And Kerstin Grunwald as Christine brought a lot of energy to the stage playing opposite to the four sisters.

Sister Notburga (Gerlinde Haas-Schmidt) paying Mathilde a visit

Sister Notburga (Gerlinde Haas-Schmidt) paying Mathilde a visit

The scenery was changed only once – but elaborately during the interval.  Whilst the first act had taken place in Mathilde and Henriette’s kitchen, with fine attention to detail and a number of kitchen implements, the second half played out in the living room with two so-called “Mathilde chairs”.  These armchairs were so well received by some members of the audience, that they arranged to buy them after the last performance!

Mathilde (Anna Altheim, front) receives a letter from Canada.  (Back row: Kerstin Grunwald, Uta Patzina, Barbara Semeras, Gabriele Schweickhardt)

Mathilde (Anna Altheim, front) receives a letter from Canada. (Back row: Kerstin Grunwald, Uta Patzina, Barbara Semeras, Gabriele Schweickhardt)

Only the winning lottery numbers: 5, 12, 18, 20, 22 and 29, these unfortunately were not only not real, but anyone who ever played them was probably disappointed.  According to the Germany lottery archive, this has never been the winning combination since the system began back in 1955.

Uncle Paul (Rainer Böhrig, left) and Uncle Willlibald (Beppo Bachfischer) travel from Canada to visit Mathilde

Uncle Paul (Rainer Böhrig, left) and Uncle Willlibald (Beppo Bachfischer) travel from Canada to visit Mathilde

“Schwestern” has three more performances in Oberursel, on the 22nd, 23rd and 29th of November.  The remaining tickets are available ae the Ticket Shop, Kumeliusstraße 8.

A German version of this article appeared in the Oberurseler Woche on Thursday, 20th November, 2014.

About Graham Tappenden

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Oberursel in 1993 and returned with his family to live there in 2003. He has been writing for AllThingsGerman.net since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.

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