The sorcerer's apprentice

By Helgard Haug / Daniel Wetzel

On the day of her return to Iceland, in recognition of “her service and self-sacrifice”, Herdis Sigurgrimsdottir received a certificate thanking her for securing a better future for the whole world. A carnation twines around a burning candle and the document is signed by the defence minister of Iraq. Herdis’ country has no army, but is a founding member of NATO and so sent a single person to an assignment in the Nato Training Camp in Baghdad. In the allegedly safe ‘green zone’ Iceland‘s contribution trained Iraqis in dealing with the media, instructing them in gameplay and tactics, always saying only what puts your own message in the best light. On the day she left, Herdis was a major, had become part of the chain of command, wore a uniform and a weapon, and took the Icelandic flag home with her, because she pulled out not only as a single person but as a one-woman army.

Berlin’s ‘King of Magicians’ Günther Klepke has travelled the world and done magic tricks for amazed and for unresponsive audiences. He also says, “You have to know what your audience is supposed to see.” A trained Foley artist, he made the Hebbel Theater resound in the ‘50s. He can make it sound as if an entire army is approaching using just a sandwich paper, suspend gravity, and make burning candles disappear. He was the hand double for the magic tricks of Günter Pfitzmann and Eddy Arendt, and was often in the light entertainment programme for political office holders, but never for the military. Markus Kompa is likewise a master of magic, but he‘s also Uri Geller‘s lawyer and investigates the histories of ‘controversial magicians’. His researches into the activities of secret services during the Cold War have led him to the date of the 25th/26th of September 1983, when Stanislav Petrov’s level-headedness prevented a nuclear war. That he is now standing with him on stage borders on magic for this expert on magic.

“Der Zauberlehrling” takes a text as a starting point in a search for the great illusionists of the present and their magical moments.
Where do the links lie between Goethe‘s ballad and the military criminal code?


and as interpreters: Martina Englert/Franziska Zwerg

Staging: Helgard Haug, Daniel Wetzel
Stage and costumes: Christin Berg
Research: Sebastian Brünger, Martin Baierlein
Dramaturgy: Sebastian Brünger, Christine Besier
Light: Konstantin Sonnenson
Sound and Video: Gebhard Knobelspieß
Props: Steffi Pürschler, Angelica Schubert, Fabian Güth
Assistant director: Martin Baierlein
Direction and production trainee: Eefje Suijkerbuijk
Trick technical consultancy: Guido Neunkirchen, Ully Loup

A production of the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus in co-production with Rimini Apparat and Hebbel am Ufer Berlin.

Funded by the Friends and Sponsors of the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus and the Mayor of Berlin - Senatskanzlei (Senate Chancellery)– Kulturelle Angelegenheiten (Cultural Affairs Department).

PERFORMANCE RIGHTS. schaefersphilippen Theater and Medien GbR