On the one hand, the Radebeulers are celebrating the wine harvest – the sweet young wine known as Federweisser has just been bottled. But at the same time, it is also an occasion for art, clowns, musicians and actors. Under Helmut Raeder’s artistic direction, the Autumn Wine Festival has been combined with the International Itinerant Theatre Festival since 1996. The town and its streets are transformed into stages, very much in the spirit of Dionysus.
In a wry reference to the city’s professional theatres, Raeder says: “The festival is not necessarily aimed at theatre specialists. Obviously, they are welcome too. Here, they will see how to reach a wider audience and to move them emotionally and intellectually.”
In among all the stalls offering regional specialities, around 60 performances will take place. The festival in Radebeul regularly attracts 50,000 visitors over the three days. They are treated to social critique, charm, wit, copious music and huge improvisational talent delivered by theatrical troupes from all over the world. The theme chosen for 2019 is Jugendträume (Youth Dreams).
Leaving the nest
The festival is traditionally opened on Friday by the God of Wine in person. This year, the first show of the weekend will feature a cast of actors aged between ten and twelve. The Landesbühnen Sachsen theatre workshop will be putting on a production of Ich bin so frei, a title with a double meaning: ‘I am so free’, but also ‘If I might be allowed’. Naughty, adolescent and buzzing with energy, it’s about how to claim your own space between school and home.
With their performance of Public Viewing, the JuWie Dance Company aim to show how we can cure ourselves of mobile phone cramp and social media pressure. Meanwhile, Liebe Knall Yoga All is a farewell to self-centeredness.
The French company Adhok literally leaves ‘The Nest’ – this is the title of their play which gets along completely without words and relates how it feels to leave the parental home. Raeder poses the question: “Do you stand on your own two feet, do you lift off or do you go under in the storm of life?” Life offers both beauty and adversity. You just have to get stuck in.