Der Struwwelpeter

Eine Koproduktion des Ensemble Modern mit der Volksbühne

It is one of the most famous ideas to have originated in Frankfurt am Main, known and passionately discussed worldwide: the collection of short stories written and illustrated by the physician Heinrich Hoffmann for his son in the mid-19th century entitled ›Struwwelpeter‹ (or ›Shock-Headed Peter‹ to English-language audiences), featuring the violent and humorous adventures of Fidgety Philipp, Little Paula, Johnny Look-In-the-Air, Konrad the Thumb-Sucker... Even today, and not only in teacher training courses, there are heated discussions about the author’s pedagogical methods and the intentions inferred from the images and verses. Still, the entertaining stories about ignorance, disobedience, instruction and punishment are highly popular, as evidenced by numerous adaptations and parodies. The Struwwelpeter Museum, which recently moved to the newly constructed historical centre of Frankfurt, also demonstrates the lasting fascination of the collection of stories. Together with the Fliegende Volksbühne and its central pillar Michael Quast, Ensemble Modern takes a fresh look at the material and its miniatures, opening the new performance venue of the Fliegende Volksbühne on Großer Hirschgraben on January 24, 2020 with the world premiere of ›Der Struwwelpeter‹. Ensemble Modern members Uwe Dierksen, Christian Hommel and Hermann Kretzschmar are currently writing their own, philosophical and bizarre pieces, to be performed by their own ensemble as well as Michael Quast and Sabine Fischmann of the Fliegende Volksbühne. Christian Fausch, the Artistic Manager of Ensemble Modern, spoke to all of them about their relationship with Struwwelpeter and the transformation of the material into an evening of musical theatre.