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Rehearsals begin in Bad Hersfeld: Festival promises “Big Show” with a gangster ballad |

Dazzling figures and rousing music in a seedy backyard atmosphere – this is how the Bad Hersfeld Festival outlines its season premiere. In the “Threepenny Opera” based on Bertolt Brecht, Mackie Messer’s lover is played by two very different artists.

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02:17 mins

Rehearsals start for “The Threepenny Opera” at the Bad Hersfeld Festival

start of rehearsal

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With great anticipation and curiosity about the ensemble members, the director, director and actors came together for the start of rehearsals at the Bad Hersfeld Festival. The creative staff met on Tuesday for a reading and getting to know each other. Festival director Joern Hinkel compared it to a “blind date”.

There are now around six weeks until the open-air theater festival opens with the premiere of “The Threepenny Opera” on June 21st. “It will be a colorful, shrill and wild gangster ballad with a lot of poetry and humor, but little pointing and instruction, but with a lot of music,” says Hinkel.

“It has to be glamorous and dark”

The task for director Michael Schachermaier is to bring the Bertolt Brecht classic, which premiered in 1928, into the present and to stage it in an appealing way for connoisseurs and newcomers alike. This was “intimidating and challenging at the same time,” said the Austrian.

He wanted to transform the stage in the monastery ruins into a seedy backyard and create an atmosphere with light and shadow. He will create a place where whores, gangsters and police officers meet. “It has to be glamorous and dark at the same time.”

Mackie Messer is warm and dangerous

“The Threepenny Opera,” said Schachermaier, “is a diverse, sparkling and dramatic smorgasbord. Above all, it is the dazzling characters and the sparkling music that make this story an exciting music theater experience.” He promises a “big show”.

“The Morality of Mackie Messer” is musically world-famous. The criminal Macheath, called Mackie Messer, is portrayed by Simon Zigah, who was on stage in Bad Hersfeld from 2006 to 2009. “Now it’s like coming home.” Being able to return to this large and unique stage is something special, says Zigah. “I’ve been thinking about it for years.” Director Hinkel is looking forward to Zigah’s special charisma: “warm-hearted and dangerous” at the same time.

Rehearsals start at the Bad Hersfeld Festival "The Threepenny Opera"

On the 1,400 square meter stage, Zigah will engage in a competitive and existential struggle with a so-called begging mafia. Their boss, “businessman” Peachum, is played by Götz Schulte. The role of Peachum’s wife Celia was cast by Katharina Pichler and the role of daughter Polly by Gia Osthoff.

The focus will also be on Anna Loos and Lilo Wanders, who will share the role of Jenny and Mackie Messer’s lover and traitor. Loos is known, among other things, for her appearances in the ZDF crime series “Helen Dorn” and the television series “Weissensee” (ARD), and she also has musical experience (“Cabaret”).

Rehearsals start at the Bad Hersfeld Festival "The Threepenny Opera"

Loos finds the open-air theater challenging: a lot of unforeseen things can happen. “When you’re singing, a mosquito might fly into your mouth or it might rain. And on this big stage you need an even greater presence.”

Intendant Hinkel is excited about this presence: Loos often gives her characters a fragile conflict and a glowing restlessness. “In all her radiance there is always an abyss. For me, that’s what makes her such a fascinating actress.”

Travesty artist doesn’t want to play a double

Lilo Wanders, who will stand in for Anna Loos, who was unable to perform, is looking forward to her performances with her own touch. The drag artist announced that she would show a certain degree of independence in her role and would not want to provide a double act.

By the way, Loos and Wanders have known each other for a long time. They used to play theater together on the Reeperbahn in Hamburg. And Loos was a babysitter for the children of Lilo Wanders (real name Ernie Reinhardt), as the two said.

The spectators in Bad Hersfeld can also look forward to Aljoscha Stadelmann. He is known from “Tatort” crime roles and the TV series “Harter Brocken”. There he plays a stupid-looking but clever police officer; in Bad Hersfeld he is the police chief Tiger-Brown.

Tough guy

The festival’s other program, which will run until August 18, includes a new production of the Broadway musical “A Chorus Line”, the comedy “The First Name”, the play “As in Heaven” and a revival of the play for children “The Little Ghost”.

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