Adaption by Jan Bosse and David Heiligers
Assistance and additional texts by Armin Petras
Wilhelm Voigt, a shoemaker and criminal, is released from Plötzensee Prison and is now passport- and identity-less in Berlin. Without any papers he can’t get work, and without work he can’t get his papers. Voigt tries everything to start a normal life and to reintegrate into society, but nobody takes any notice of his insignificant fate. To try and recover his identity papers he breaks into the police station in Potsdam, which lands him back behind bars – this time for ten years. Here he is given an unexpected helping hand from the prison director, a military enthusiast, who turns Voigt into a military expert himself. When he is discharged, he is homeless and hardly recognises the city he once knew. Berlin has turned into a modern metropolis that clearly hasn’t been waiting for an unemployed man with a criminal record. His regained freedom quickly proves to be the opposite, as yet again he finds himself without work or papers, and back at the bottom of the heap. But Wilhelm Voigt doesn’t give (himself) up and fights the prevailing order with its own weapons. He procures an original captain’s uniform … and the fun begins.
Carl Zuckmayer’s The Captain of Köpenick
is a quintessentially Berlin play, which premiered at the Deutsches Theater in 1931, directed by Heinz Hilpert. Eighty-six years later, in the same place, Jan Bosse
shifts the action of the famous fairy tale, with Milan Peschel
in the leading role, to the modern day. A story about a man on the outside.