Das Pulverfass
Berlin - Venice - Belgrade , 23 October 2008 - 29 November 2008 - 26 September 2009

Das Pulverfass (The Powder Keg)
by Dejan Dukovski
German translation from the Macedonian by Samuel Finzi and Dimiter Gotscheff
Premiere: Thursday 23 October 2008, Haus der Berliner Festspiele, Berlin

Directed by Dimiter Gotscheff
Stage and costume design Anri Kulev
Music Sandy Lopicic & Orkestar: Sandy Lopicic (piano, accordion, conductor), Jörg Mikula (drums), Mathias Loibner (hurdy-gurdy), Alexey Wagner (bass, guitar), Alexander “Xell” Dafov (gajda, hautboy, vocals, electric guitar), Dimitris Christides (percussion, drums), Simon Jakob Drees (violin), Lutz Wolf (trumpet, flugelhorn)
with Margit Bendokat, Sebastian Blomberg, Magne Håvard Brekke, Samuel Finzi, Alexander Khuon, Wolfram Koch, Birgit Minichmayr and Valery Tscheplanowa
A production of Deutsches Theater Berlin and spielzeit’europa | Berliner Festspiele
Supported by ENPARTS – European Network of Performing Arts
Length app. 2 hours, without intermission

Das Pulverfass
“The Balkans are a barrel of gunpowder” – the Macedonian playwright Dejan Dukovski’s collection of scenes The Powder Keg, first performed in Skopje in 1996, provide a truthful description of a state of omnipresent violence and the apparently impossible desire for reconciliation, happiness or a new life. An explosive Balkan blues, a self-portrait in eleven stories of meetings between people which have no alternative to a fatal ending in a Europe unable to stop the war in former Yugoslavia.  
Dimiter Gotscheff, the great master director with a Bulgarian soul will create this new production with a dream cast from his acting “family” and the Balkan Orkestar conducted by Sandy Lopicic.
The Balkans, today’s New Europe as it lives and breathes, become the setting in The Powder Keg for a revue in the form of a detective story telling of the explosive ridiculousness of violent people and life-threatening masculinity. The Powder Keg, a European co-production will have its premiere in Berlin at spielzeit’europa, tour to several cities including Venice and Belgrade and then from 2009 will take its place in the repertoire of the Deutsches Theater.

Born in Bulgaria, Dimiter Gotscheff came to East Berlin in the 1960s to study veterinary medicine. However, within a short time he became a pupil of, and assistant to director Benno Besson – first at the Deutsches Theater and later at the Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz. Gotscheff made his directorial debut in Nordhausen with Heiner Müller’s Die Weiberkomödie (Women’s Comedy). In 1979 Dimiter Gotscheff left East Germany in connection with the expatriation of songwriter and dissident Wolf Biermann, and returned to Bulgaria. Since the mid-1980s he has worked at theatres throughout Germany and Austria. His stagings have frequently been invited to Berlin’s Theatertreffen festival, including Black Battles with Dogs by Bernard-Marie Koltès, Chekhov’s Ivanov (both Volksbühne productions), and Molière’s Tartuffe (a co-production of the Salzburg Festival and Hamburg’s Thalia Theater). Several of his stagings have been named “Production of the Year” by a jury of theatre critics and his Ivanov won the 3sat Innovation Prize at the Theatertreffen festival in 2006. Dimiter Gotscheff became one of the Deutsches Theater’s in-house directors during the 2006/2007 season. Prior to The Persians he staged Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, GERMANIA. Plays based on texts by Heiner Müller, Ödön von Horváth’s Tales from the Vienna Woods, and Ben Jonson’s Volpone. Showered with critical acclaim, his production of The Persians was chosen the best production of the Year 2007 by the critics’ poll in the trade journal »Theater Heute« (Theatre Today).