Volksbühne Berlin am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz


by Esther Preußler, Nina Peller and Thilo Fischer

The whole show, for the first time in a 361 degree format. Bring your own knife!

It’s the most legendary war in world history: 10,000 vessels are put to sea, and all because of a single woman, Helen of Sparta. What an age it was when wars were waged for love! To think that everything started with a simple beauty contest, a quip by a spoilsport who got discharged – and it ended with a fatally destructive, ultrahuge wooden horse! Later Homer, the Mick Jagger of Antiquity, composed the Iliad, the longest non-stop song ever, narrating the story of two superpowers, treasures that went missing, and catastrophes untold.

It’s the battle of Troy, the Dubai of Antiquity. A city so rich, so out of reach and invincible it fuels appetites. Then Troy goes up in flames and suddenly lays in ashes. Was everything destroyed by the fire? Did the legendary Troy really exist? Was there such a thing as a huge wooden horse fixed by the Greeks to outwit the Trojans whose once proud name today refers to the trick that has led to their extinction? Is the horse merely a metaphor for some ancient war weapons? Or does it represent something different altogether?

“We’re on a mission from god.” (Blues Brothers)

What about if you just don’t want to go to battle? Bid a gentle farewell to all your brothers in arms? 10 years of war – it’s absurd! There must be some physical or mental illness to get around war. In Catch 22 Yossarian has the choice to get declared insane upon request – yet it is precisely his applying for insanity which is then taken as proof that he is perfectly sane. “They are shooting at me. But if they’re shooting at everyone, then I would be the only one insane. Not likely that everyone is shooting at me.” (Yossarian)

This is the true story of Troy.
The German merchant and hobby archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann didn’t stop at nothing to prove the war over Troy. He took all the money he had made as a businessman in Russia and during the gold rush in California to employ low-paid workers for privately conducted excavations. His marriage with his Russian wife annulled, he marries a Greek woman he chose on the basis of a photograph: 17-year-old Sophia. She is to become his Helena. Together they set out to find the mythical city in Turkey. They have two children together called Agamemnon and Andromache. He definitely means business, no doubt about that. His discoveries ring in a new era of enthusiasm for archaeological research. Never mind Homer’s Troy, Priam’s treasure or Agamemnon’s mask were not among the findings. Schliemann never let anything get in the way of a good story – especially not the truth. He believed in Troy, and that made him rich and famous – he even became honorary citizen of the City of Berlin. A whole life dedicated to a myth, now isn’t that a clever trick! This year will see the 125th anniversary of Schliemann’s death – it’s time to stand up for the big stories before they finally fall prey to the uniformity of our times. We need more gods again! And people who have no more dreams are already dead anyway.

“I will never get out of this world alive.” (Hank Williams)

10 years of war – and then they conquered the city using a simple trick? The gods seemed to have had conflicting views on it, in fact, they probably didn’t care who won as long as Mother Earth was able to reduce the excess population. At least that’s what Zeus had announced in the Cypria, an epic preceding the Iliad. And the rancour of the god-like fighter Achilles: “Immortal man, immortal body, except he had the Achilles heel. What an irony!” (Eddie Izzard). Disguised as a girl, he grew up among his stepsisters, and for years had refused to take part in the war over Troy. His fellow-heroes from Greece dearly missed him on the battlefield. It was only the desire for revenge for his beloved comrade Patroclus’ death that got Achilles back on the battleground. And Ulysses, the sly fox, was making up anything imaginable not to have to participate in the battle. He was the one who finally came up with the horse trick. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it!
Yet there is no escape from war, neither for Ulysses, nor for Achilles nor for Yossarian. Or is this world just no place for peace? In the end you are left with the feeling that everything was altogether different …

Troy lies within you. You just have to prove it.

Tickets 18.- EUR, concessions 9.- EUR.

Duration: 1h 10min


With: Maximilian Brauer, Konrad Krenzlin, Dennis Latwat, Richard Lucius, Leonard Neumann and Daniel Zillmann

Director: Esther Preußler
Room: Bert Neumann
Stage Designer: Nina Peller
Costumes: Sasha Thomsen
Light Design: Hans-Hermann Schulze
Video: Mathias Klütz, Cemile Sahin
Sound: Tobias Gringel
Dramaturgy: Thilo Fischer

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 Schwarze Serie