Störtebeker Festspiele – Open-Air Theatre on Rügen

The Störtebeker Festspiele are an annual event on the Island of Rügen, on the North-Eastern coast of Germany in the Baltic See (Ostsee).

Started in 1993, the plays tell the story of Klaus Störtebeker, a German pirate who apparently lived at the end of the 14th Century.  Legend has it, that he stole from the rich and gave to the poor, but was also known for his ability to drink large quantities of beer.  The plays on Rügen are often inter-linked, with the story continuing from year to year.

One side of the stage for the 2011 production of the Störtebeker Festspiele

One side of the stage for the 2011 production

Describing the theatre as “open-air” does not really do it justice.  The stage is on the water’s edge – behind it four ships take part in the action.  It is big enough (and strong enough) for 30 horses to be used, and many of the actors ride at sometime during the performance. [Read more…]

Open-air theatre in Oberursel

Each year one of the regular attractions in Oberursel is the open-air theatre production called “Theater im Park”.

The production, featuring local actors, started in 1994 and performs a different play if each.  Until last year, this took place at the “Villa Gans”, just off the old main road between Oberursel and Königstein.

This year, for the first time, the plays are being held in the grounds of the “Klinik Hohe Mark”, which is a short walk from the end of the U-Bahn line at the northern end of Oberursel.

The play this year is called “Datterich”, Datterich being the name of one of the leading characters.  Herr Datterich used to be an official in the tax office in Oberursel, but now spends much of his time in the town’s public houses and hiding from those he himself owes money to.

And although the play originates from Darmstadt, it has been adapted to fit in with the geography of Oberursel, and is performed in the local Hessian dialect.

So the town is referred to as “Orschel” and the folk order their drinks in “Budells” and pay with “Dahlers”.

This means that even some native German speakers require either the translation guide contained within the programme, or help from their neighbours.  Visitors from overseas may require a little more help, although with a little bit of imagination it is possible to work out the meanings of many of the words.

The “Budell”, for example, is a bottle.  The Hessian word developed out of the French “Bouteille”.

The 'Datterich' Ensemble giving a preview performance at the Epinayplatz, Oberursel

The 'Datterich' Ensemble giving a preview performance at the Epinayplatz, Oberursel

The production is rounded off by the appearance of the narrator, who musically gives the audience background information on the events as well as warning them to watch out for anyone adding an extra drink to their bill at the bar during the interval!

Datterich only has two more performances left in this year: on Friday and Saturday this week (23rd & 24th July).  But it will be reprised next year when the Hessentag is held in Oberursel, so there will be another chance to see it then.

Tickets are sold in advance at the OK Service-Center in Kumeliusstr. 8, near the Epinay-Platz, or – subject to availability – in the park.

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