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