As part of this year’s On The Rocks Festival, the German Society presents Der böse Geist Lumpazivagabundus by Johann Nepomuk Nestroy, performed in German with English subtitles.  Partially set in fairyland, partially in the real world, three poor citizens share the same fate of winning the lottery, after which they part ways to fulfil their dreams.  Through the escapades of the three main characters, Nestroy asks the audience whether people are controlled by greed, money or love.


We caught up with Olivia Morton from the team behind Der böse Geist Lumpazivagabundus to find out more.


Can you tell us a little about Der böse Geist Lumpazivagabundus?

This will be the first-ever performance of this play in German in the UK, which makes it an ambitious, exciting project and something most people in St Andrews won’t have ever seen before. There are hilarious moments (I think!) and the plot also raises some really interesting questions about the effect of money and wealth on people. I think the cast is doing a fantastic job so far, their enthusiasm is infectious, and I would encourage everyone to come along and see what we have been doing this semester! With subtitles in English based on an unpublished translation by Professor Michael Perraudin, it’s an event accessible to everyone regardless of what languages they speak. There will also be a wine reception in the interval, where you will be able to chat with the cast, crew and everyone who has helped put the performance together, which promises to be a great evening.


What are some of the challenges in producing a foreign language play?

Because the cast is comprised of some native speakers of German and mainly of non-native speakers with various levels of experience with German, from beginner to near-native level, this obviously adds an extra dimension to perfecting lines. Additionally, the play is in Austrian German, which poses a bit of a challenge to some native speakers too! The progress we have made with the play is even more rewarding for me because we are doing such an ambitious project in another language. We have also received a lot of help from the German department, who have helped people memorise their lines on an individual basis, which has allowed us to get lines learnt early and really concentrate on the performance. I have especially enjoyed watching the cast grow in confidence and just enjoy being engaging and funny on stage. At this point, looking back on where we have come since the first read-through is really exciting, I am very proud of how far we have come and can’t wait for the cast to put on a fantastic show on opening night!


What would you like audiences to take away from your show??

Most importantly I want the audiences to enjoy the show, see a fantastic play they have probably never seen before and appreciate all of the hard work that has gone into the production.  I am excited to bring a bit of Austrian culture to a wider audience, as is the cast and crew. I am hoping a lot of our audience members will be using the subtitles to follow the text and that they have a great experience of seeing a memorable, funny and just really enjoyable play be put on for the first time.



Catch Der böse Geist Lumpazivagabundus at 19:00 on Thursday 9th and Friday 10th April, in The Buchanan.


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Tickets are available from The Byre Box Office