Spectacular theatre in an atmospheric setting off the coast of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: Ralswiek open-air theatre on Rügen island's Great Jasmund Lagoon comes into its own when it hosts the annual Störtebeker Festival – especially when the waterside stage is lit up by the magical glow of fireworks on every evening of the festival.
Equally bewitching is the infamous Klaus Störtebeker. Once the scourge of the seas, he has now become a celebrated festival hero in Germany. The Rügen Festival and the open-air theatre at Ralswiek opened in 1959 during the GDR era. Up until 1981, there were five performances each year of Kurt Barthel's dramatic ballad 'Klaus Störtebeker', each featuring a cast of a thousand people and attracting audiences of well over 100,000. Since 1993 the Störtebeker Festival has taken place every year from late June until early September, recounting the tale of the notorious 14th century pirate over a three to four year cycle. And with resounding success: the Störtebeker Festival is the most successful open-air theatre event in Germany. Today, over 150 cast and crew, four ships, 30 horses and a host of special effects make this a theatre experience to remember. And even those who know the story might secretly keep their fingers crossed that Störtebeker and his Victual Brothers are spared such a tragic end. To no avail, of course, but perhaps we owe it to Germany's best-loved pirate.
2014-06-21 - 2014-09-06
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