Perhaps the one thing my home city Augsburg is most famous for is the Augsburger Puppenkiste. It’s a puppet theater founded in the 1940s. Originally it was built by Mr. Oehmichen just for the entertainment of his daughters, but they brought friends who loved the plays and after the end of WW II, he decided to open a real theater at the Heilig-Geist Spital in Augsburg. The first play premiered in 1948 – it was “Der gestiefelte Kater” (Puss in Boots).
In the following 60 years all kinds of stories and fairy tales have been staged, from the traditional fairy tales (like Sleeping Beauty) to children’s stories (e.g. The Little Witch), cabaret and TV series. Some years ago, A Rat’s Tale, by Tor Seidler was filmed and reached international fame.
My favourite of all stories is “Urmel from the Ice”. The story is about a scientist who has developed a way to make animals talk. Due to envy by his colleagues he has to flee to a small island together with a pig, a penguin and a lizard.
One day they find a huge egg that has been washed ashore and after some weeks of breeding Urmel – a kind of dinosaur – hatches. It is raised by the scientist and the pig and together they live through different adventures.
What I love about the plays is their combination of play and music. They often compose songs to go along the play. If you ever come to Augsburg and have an afternoon or an evening free make sure to go to one of their plays. It’s really worth it!