The Captain of Köpenick

by Carl Zuckmayer
in a new English version by Ron Hutchinson

Until 4 April

The Captain of Köpenick

Released after fifteen years in prison, trapped in a bureaucratic maze, petty criminal Wilhelm Voigt wanders 1910 Berlin in desperate, hazardous pursuit of identity papers. Luck changes when he picks up an abandoned military uniform in a fancy-dress shop and finds the city ready to obey his every command. At the head of six soldiers, he marches to the Mayor’s office, cites corruption and confiscates the treasury with ease. But still what he craves is official recognition that he exists.

I used to think all the trouble in the world was caused by people giving orders. Now I reckon that it’s people being so willing to take them.

A nation heads blindly towards war as the misfit takes on the state in Ron Hutchinson’s savagely funny new version of Carl Zuckmayer’s The Captain of Köpenick, first staged in Germany in 1931. Antony Sher takes the title role.

Finally we can trust the German people to follow wherever we lead them.

This production ran from 29 January to 4 April 2013


Illustration by Charlotte Wilkinson

Related content: 
  • War Horse final performance 12 March 2016
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  • Jane Eyre. Woman in a pale dress with an image of flames projected onto her
  • National Youth Theatre: Consensual.  2 teenagers in school uniform, one with her hand over the boys mouth
  • National Youth Theatre: Wuthering Heights, Title in black, over a photo of a young woman dancing in a nightclub
  • National Youth Theatre: The Merchant of Venice, Title in white, over a B&W photo of a V for Vendetta mask
  • Husbands and Sons. Photo of Anne-Marie Duff
  • Waste. Image: Charcoal on paper a man's head, smudged, by Valentin van der Meulen. ‘Untitled 07’. 2013.
  • I  Want My Hat Back. Cartoon animals in black agaist an orange background
  • Evening at the Talk House. A decomposing dessert on a cake stand
  • Here We Go, shadowy, blurred figures, blue against a white background
  • As You Like It. Photo of Rosalie Craig
  • Guardian + NT Debates
  • Gigs at the National Theatre
  • Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Photo of Sharon D Clarke by Seamus Ryan
  • Iphigenia in Splott
  • Cleansed. Photo: Untitled by Birgit Kahle
  • The Solid Life of Sugar Water
  • People, Places and Things
  • Les Blancs / The Whites
  • Brainstorm. Teenage boy with blue exploding head
  • The Suicide. Photography by Jay Brooks