Readings


next performances
23. 09. 2018 (Sun.):1001 Nights for Kobane - a musical reading in German language
Falstaff - the Theatre Pub, Bremer Shakespeare Company, Schulstr. 26, D-28199 Bremen
beginning 07:00 p.m., reservations 0421/ 50 02 26
27. 09. 2018 (Thu.):Hans Christian Andersen: The Nightingale - a musical reading in German language
Buchhandlung Leuwer, Am Wall 171, D-28195 Bremen
beginning 07:00 p.m., reservations 0421/ 32 18 28
17. 10. 2018 (Wed.):Flintenweiber und Untermenschen
Studiobühne Bürgerhaus Vegesack, Kirchheide 49, D-28757 Bremen
beginning 07:00 p.m., no reservations
30. 10. 2018 (Tue.):More Stories from Kattenturm - in German language
Bürherhaus Obervieland, Alfred-Faust Str. 4, D-28279 Bremen
beginning 07:00 p.m., no reservations. All welcome but seating is limited
09. 11. 2018 (Fri.):MiniLit live - musical readings in German language
Villa Sponte e.V., Osterdeich 59b, D-28203 Bremen
beginning 08:00 p.m., reservations 0421/ 794 784 97
17. 11. 2018 (Sat.):Jan Schröter: Nur mal kurz - a musical reading in German language
Institut für Kultursemiotik, Pfingstanger 3, D-30974 Wennigsen
beginning ?, reservations 0421/ 70 677 43
08. 12. 2018 (Sat.):Bret Harte: How Santa Claus Came to Simpson's Bar - German language
Stadtbibliothek Vegesack, Aumunder Heerweg 87, D-28757 Bremen
beginning 11:00 a.m., reservations 0421/ 36 17 244

More Stories from Kattenturm - in German language
Why you should never look up when you go jogging. What goes through the mind of the swimming pool attendant as he starts his early shift after a heavy night. Why old Heinz secretly drank all the water from the vase. These and similar stories from the delightful Bremen district of Kattenturm, as experienced and recorded by the Obervieland literature group, 'Die Ohrenleser'. To give the evening's stories a fitting musical setting, we have the pleasure of welcoming Bremen guitarist Jürgen Schöffel. Meeting place: the entrance to the community centre.
Duration approx. 60 mins.



MiniLit live - musical readings in German language
A selection of five small but perfectly formed stories by Bremen authors, with texts by Laura E. Beck, Colin Böttger, Jörn Grebe, Rollo Heinsch and Madita Krügler. Bremer Literaturkontor e.V. has assisted in the creation of the texts and made them accessible to a wider audience in the publication series 'MiniLit'. The complete series will be availbale to take away, free of charge, on the evening. Florian Oberlechner - the accordion player known throughout Bremen - will provide the evening's musical accompaniment with spontaneous improvisations.
Duration approx. 90 mins.



Jan Schröter: Nur mal kurz - a musical reading in German language
An entertaining but rather wicked experience. Seven short crime thrillers by Jan Schröter, so short in fact, that they only just start to gather momentum when the final climax draws near and then lingers uncomfortably in the mind. Just what does lie beneath that long-term girlfriend’s sitting room floor, how does the warehouseman caught in the act takes revenge on his boss using a tube of superglue, and what about that last bungee jump ...? but no, it's never what you might expect. The ambitious musical programme is in the very capable hands of Nina Weibel (oboe), Dieter Weische (flute) and Johannes Sauer (piano) playing atmospherically intense works by Delanoff, Margola and Piazolla.
Duration approx. 90 mins.

video trailer


Bret Harte: How Santa Claus Came to Simpson's Bar - German language
A Christmas story from the Wild West. Simpson’s Bar lies way up in the hills beyond Sacramento. Nobody has ever found any gold here yet, although the earth has been ransacked in search of it. Life is harsh and the people taciturn. In winter, it usually never stops raining, with the village sinking down into the mud and the men incessantly falling into drunken stupors. And little Johnny has never heard the word ‘Christmas.’ “How Santa Claus Came to Simpson’s Bar” is a touching story by Bret Harte with a miraculous twist bringing joy to all.
Duration approx. 45 mins.



Flintenweiber und Untermenschen
A staged reading by Martin Heckmann and Susanne Schrader about how Nazi racial doctrine tainted everyday life in Germany during the war, and the very real significance, especially for Eastern European and Soviet prisoners of war, of belonging to a purportedly 'inferior race'. Letters from former prisoners, and documents from the time, recall a chapter of German history that truly seems hard to believe. Contrary to the recent media-grabbing claim of a well-known German politician, far from being just an insignificant footnote, it is a painful reality that stares back from the mirror at us in Germany whenever we dare take a closer look.
Duration approx. 90 mins.

video trailer


Hans Christian Andersen: The Nightingale - a musical reading in German language
Undoubtedly a fairy tale for adults. The emperor of China loves the song of the nightingale that always sings outside his window. So far, so harmless. Then, the emperor of Japan gives him a mechanical nightingale that can not only sing as well, but also looks far more beautiful. What happens next leads straight down into the surprising depths of the human soul. Flautist Iris Hammacher acccompanies the story on various instruments to give the text a wonderful atmospheric density.
Duration approx. 60 mins.



1001 Nights for Kobane - a musical reading in German language
A fundraiser with a difference, in cooperation with Patra-Janina Schultz, Robert Levin and the Bremer Shakespeare Company, in aid of rebuilding of a school in war-torn Kobane, Northern Syria. No sign of Ali Baba or Aladdin, but a firework display of good old roguish pranks and spiner-tingling erotic adventures from a multi-cultural Arabia, rediscovered in an ancient Arabian manuscript and translated by Claudia Ott. Definitely not for young ears! Musical accompaniment by Marwan Jaro on the saz and irresistible orient delicacies from the chef from the 'Falstaff'.
Duration approx. 90 mins.



from Daniel Defoe: Roxana - a musical reading in German language
A delightfully risqué tale from high-society London at the beginning of the 18th century. What exactly did happen when Roxana took the path of sin and proceeded to sleep her way, with instinctive, nonchalant cold-bloodedness, to the upper echelons of society? After all, rather an unlikely fate for the demure daughter of French Puritan immigrants. The reading is accompanied by Johannes Sauer on the piano, in fitting Baroque stye, which - so they say anyway - really suits it rather well.
Duration approx. 75 mins.



Robert Louis Stevenson: Thrawn Janet - German language
In the remote Scottish village of Balweary her name is spoken only in whispers: Thrawn Janet. It is all the new minister can do to keep her safe from the other villagers. They have a terrible suspicion about her and always give the dour old woman a wide berth - didn't both her neighbour's cows recently die overnight? And anyway, when did anyone last see her in chuch? Fear is spreading and it turns out that evil sometimes lurks where we least expect it.
Duration approx. 60 mins.



Venus and the Boys - a musical reading in German language
It's September 1940 and an ominous mood prevails shortly after the declaration of war against Germany. To counteract the pervasive feeling of dread, the Parisian art scene clings together in darkened cafés, anxious, yet eager to live life to the full, and in strangely high spirits. An electric, uninhibited longing for closeness, reassurance and touch is spreading, and the night takes its course. A compilation of erotically charged and explicit texts, atmospherically accompanied by Johannes Sauer on piano. Definitely cert. 18.
Duration approx. 60 mins.



Robert Louis Stevenson: The Bottle Imp - German language
They say it was brought to earth by the Devil himself: this peculiar, milky white bottle with the strange, flickering shadow inside ... It is said to have the power to give its owner everything they desire - love, fame, fortune, health. But there's a catch. If the owner dies before selling the bottle, he or she must burn forever in hell. What's more, the bottle must always be sold at a loss. Meanwhile it has become uncomfortably cheap. Keawe, the young man from the West coast of Hawaii, who came by the bottle more by chance, is beginning to run out of options.
Duration approx. 60 mins.



E.T.A. Hoffmann: The Sandman - a musical reading in German language
In his dreams and in real life Nathanael finds himself followed by a gloomy, peculiarly malformed figure known as Coppelius. In Coppelius' presence things become dark, confused and hostile. And Nathanael seems to be the only one capable of sensing this sinister force. Or is he? The spread of darkness appears unstoppable. This is an extremely unsettling tale by the master of horror, accompanied on the piano by Johannes Sauer.
Duration approx. 90 mins.



Charles Dicken: A Christmas Carol - a musical reading in German language
Mr. Scrooge is what we would today call an 'independant investor', whose sole ambition in life is to increase his fortune. He divides his fellow human beings into people he can use and people who stand in his way. His life revolves around exchange rates, contracts and interes rates. Devoid of humour, he sees joy and sorrow as an abnormality of mind. As Christmas approaches, a festival that cynical Mr. Scrooge has always inwardly denied, he is visited by ghosts (or are they angels?) who awaken in him longing, joie de vivre and love. A heart-warming - you could almost say therapeutic story that - as you will hear - really has lost none of its relevance.
Duration approx. 3 hours, with two intervals, plenty of mulled wine and of course heaps of German 'Weihnachtsgebäck'.



Guy de Maupassant: An Odd Feast - German language
Two friends retreat to an old castle by the sea for Christmas. They eat and drink their fill and then really it's time for Midnight Mass. But on the other hand, perhaps that might turn out to be a little dull. So what about paying a visit to the farmer in his old shack next door instead? After all, they say he's just lost his grandfather and the body should still be laid out. That's bound to be more exciting! And while we're at it, we might as well offer him our sincere condolences. Oh, but that's odd, where's the body?
Duration approx. 30 mins.



Jack London: Nam-Bok, the Liar - German language
After many years, a man makes an un expected return to his Inuit village in the far North, at the mouth of the Yukon. There, he tells of his monstrous journey to a people in the South, who build giant canoes from iron and houses that touch the sky. Is he telling the truth? Or is he an imposter? Either way, his stories make the village uneasy and the council of elders has a difficult decision to make ...
Duration approx. 45 mins.



Guy de Maupassant: The Devil - German language
Well, it would be nice if he could sit by her bedside for a while at least as the old dear breathes her last. But work is calling, that's how it goes. Hmmm, let's see what the neighbour would want for keeping vigil! On the other hand though she might keep it up for another few days - she's always been stubborn. So, perhaps agree on a lump sum? A tale - you might call it that - about the lightness of being.
Duration approx. 60 mins.



Oscar Wilde: The Young King - German language
Outside the palace gates, feverish preparations are being made for the next day’s coronation ceremony, while inside, the prince marvels at himself in front of the mirror, delighting in his coronation regalia. During that night he is haunted by dreams that give the upcoming event an unexpected twist. A fairy tale about power and ego with a surprising outcome - all accompanied by Anneke Brose on the church organ.
Duration approx. 60 mins.



Rudyard Kipling: The Gardener - German language
Victoria morality prevails and the entire Empire is staggering under the strain of the Great War. Back in England, Helen Turrel, a respectable, unmarried lady, suddenly loses her raison d'être and is not able to admit ti to herself. A haunting, tender and subtly violent story about repression, grief and redemption.
Duration approx. 45 mins.



Geschichten aus dem Bärengehege - a musical reading
A totally loopy, exciting, yet oddly wistful mix of adventure, initiation rite, banter and absurdly tall tales from a faraway land that still has enough blank spots on its map for everyone to enjoy. Enough said about this barrage of nonsense of the highest order, seasoned with just a dash of Jurrassic Park, a hint of Edgar Allan Poe, a little pinch of Karl May and a surprising helping of Old Testament. A highly entertaining evening reading with rather beautiful and cohesive musical accompaniment from Barbara Andrae on the bayan - whatever that is. So, all that remains to do is come, listen and learn!
Duration approx. 120 mins.



Audiobooks


In addition to the audiobooks presented here, Martin Heckmann will soon be bringing out a new, 12-part audiobook series of selected literary classics in German language. Find out more at www.martin-heckmann-liest.de!

Oldenburg - vom ersten Grafen bis zum letzten Herzog
1 CD. Production: Marlene Boklage. Curiosities, anecdotes and stories from the last thousand years of Oldenburg’s history – letters, sermons, travel diaries and recollections. What was on the menu in an Oldenburg inn in the 14th century – and did it actually taste any good? How did  clergymen in the 16th century prefer to spend their spare time – and were they actually allowed to do it? And what were the people of Oldenburg doing while the Bastille was being stormed in Paris – and was that actually sensible?

Order at info@martin-heckmann.de (€ 9,90 + shipping)

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Bram Stoker: The Dualitists - German Language
1 of 3 CDs (Slipcase 'Teufelsbrut'). Production: Musicalegenda. 'The Dualitists' is one of the “three wicked stories” of the title and the writing is as devilish as it is intelligent: cute little twins Zerubbabel and Zacariah are lovingly cared for, neighbourhood boys Harry and Tommy seemingly not. The two of them regularly indulge in their favourite hobby: destroying whatever they get their hands on. Using their pocket knives, they set to work on tables, chairs, picture frames, wardrobes and even small animals – and their hunger for more seems insatiable ...

Order at  info@martin-heckmann.de (€ 9,90 + shipping)

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Unser Thüringer Land
1 CD. Production: SDK-Media. An audiobook brimming with essential information on the beautiful German state of Thuringia. Did you realise, for example, that as early as the mid-17th century, the record length for a Thuringia “bratwurst” was some 555 yards? And how about this: did you know that the inhabitants of today’s Saxony are not actually Saxons at all, but, in fact, nothing other than Thuringians?

Order at  info@martin-heckmann.de (€ 9,90 + shipping)

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Reise zum Vulkan - aus Carlos Fuentes: Terra Nostra
2 CDs. Production: Martin Heckmann. Towards the end of the fifteenth century, before Columbus sets sail on his first voyage to America, two Spanish adventurers cross the Atlantic bound for the west. The account of the arduous journey across the ocean, involuntary participation in the culture of an ancient Indian tribe and the labyrinthine pathways of its mythical world and then the start of a fantastic journey right into the heart of the Aztec empire lingers in the mind like a powerful dream.

Order at info@martin-heckmann.de (€ 14,90 + shipping)

listen to sample