New plays for children’s and youth theatre

Das Geschenk des weissen Pferdchens (The Gift of the White Horse) by Rudolf Herfurtner

„„Das Geschenk des weißen Pferdchens © Tom Pingel

Rudolf Herfurtner was born in Wasserburg am Inn in 1947. After studying German, Romance philology and theatre studies in Munich, he started working for a daily newspaper in 1971. He began to publish his first works from 1973 onwards. Rudolf Herfurtner is one of Germany’s best-known authors of literature for children and young people and he has received many awards for his books. He was awarded the City of Munich Prize in 1981, the Grimme Prize for his screenplay for Brausepulver, (Sherbet) in 1990 and the German Children’s Theatre Prize for his play Waldkinder (Children of the Forest) in 1996. His play Spatz Fritz (Fritz the Sparrow), which has been on the Schauburg theatre’s programme since 2007, was awarded the Bavarian Theatre Days Prize in 2000. The Volkach Academy for Children’s and Youth Literature awarded him its Grand Prize for his oeuvre in 2003.

A Mongolian legend is the starting point of the play Das Geschenk des weissen Pferdchens (The Gift of the White Horse), the writing of which was commissioned by the Schauburg theatre in Munich. In a yurt in faraway Mongolia, young Tasi asks his grandfather Ulan to ride to the river with him to watch the bellowing bulls. But Ulan is old and weak. So, with grandmother Nuri, he prefers to tell the story of the horse-head violin. It is the story of the farmhand Suhe and his little white horse, which he looks after and protects. This horse is becoming the most beautiful horse in the country and enchants even the princess. But out of jealousy, Suhe’s horse is killed. Suhe is inconsolable. Then the little horse appears to him in a dream and shows him how to build a horse-head violin out of his bones, skin and hair. In the end, the music of the violin heals Suhe’s sadness.
Rudolf Herfurtner’s Das Geschenk des weissen Pferdchens is a poetic narrative play about the magic of music.
(Verlag der Autoren)

The source of beauty is often sadness – that is an important message close to my heart in a day and age when everyone just asks, “Is it fun?” Above superficial fun, there is joy and beauty that you can only get by taking a detour, through sadness. And this is such a story.
(Rudolf Herfurtner)


Herfurtner unostentatiously deals with complex themes of life in this play. He shows us how fragile this life is. How quickly moments of happiness can turn into deep despair that has to be overcome. The text seems so light, yet it is so powerful. The story is so tender and yet so inspiringly moving and life-affirming.
(Werner Mink, KinderStücke 2011)


Awards
Play prize of the 13th Dutch-German children’s and youth theatre festival “Kaas & Kappes“ 2011

Nominated for the KinderStückePreis 2011
Technical data
Premiere 24 October 2010, Junges Ensemble Stuttgart
Director Brigitte Dethier
Number of roles 1 female, 2 male, 1 musician
Recommended for age 6 +
Übersetzungen Theaterbibliothek