Premiere in Germany „The Fisherman and His Wife“

The Fisherman and His Wife
Photo: Hoang Duc Thinh © Goethe-Institut Hanoi

The German-Vietnamese co-production successfully premiered in Hanoi in November 2015. Now, two versions of the theater play will be put on stage in Dresden. 

A tale is told around the world: On November 28, 2015 „The Fisherman and His Wife“ successfully premiered in Hanoi. The theater play for children emerged from a co-production by the Goethe-Institut Hanoi, the Youth Theater Hanoi and the tjg. theater junge generation from Dresden, in the act version by Einar Schleef, again under the guidance of German director Dominik Günther. Youth Theatre’s Đỗ Doãn Bằng contributed the set design. Now the story continues in Germany.

The co-production is put on stage with three different casts: In Vietnam, the performances were in Vietnamese, but also German children and their language have been incorporated via integrated video clips. On April 9, 2016 the theater play will premiere for the second time at the tjg. theater junge generation – with an entire German cast. As a special highlight, “The Fisherman and His Wife” will be performed in a German-Vietnamese version from April 16, 2016 in Dresden, with Vietnamese actors and German puppeteers. Starring: two actors of the Youth Theater Hanoi.

This production in which Vietnamese and German culture meet is more than a children’s play: it is an intercultural project that shows similarities between countries and promotes understanding across language barriers. The tale of “The Fisherman and His Wife” is very popular both in Germany as well as in Vietnam. Dominik Günther: "There is a great yearning for three wishes that everyone would like to have granted. Linked to this is the consideration of what one would use these three wishes for. Thinking about what is really important in life matters to everybody, whether young or old, around the world.”

  • The Fisherman and his Wife Dorit Günter © tjg. theater junge generation Dresden
  • The Fisherman and his Wife Dorit Günter © tjg. theater junge generation Dresden
  • The Fisherman and his Wife Dorit Günter © tjg. theater junge generation Dresden

„The Fisherman and His Wife“ deals with greed. A fisherman lives in a small cottage together with his wife Ilsebill. He is quite satisfied with their simple life, but his wife is not. One day, the fisherman catches a flounder, which implores the fisherman to give him his life, for he is really a bewitched prince. When Ilsebill hears of this, she is shocked her husband did not ask the prince for a wish to be granted in return for his life. Contrary to her husband, Ilsebill has an indefinite list of wishes. She pushes her husband to call the flounder again, and behold: The magical fish grants her wish for a real house. But Ilsebill does not settle for a house – a palace she must have, she wants to be Queen, then Empress, Pope, ruler of the world! With every wish, the sea gets rougher, and in the end everything is back like it used to be…

Dominik Günther

Dominik Günther (120x159) © Roland Magunia works as a freelance director since 2005, among others at the Thalia Theater Hamburg, Deutsches Theater Berlin and tjg. theater junge generation Dresden. He has already received several nominations and awards for his stage productions. In the autumn of 2014, he directed The Caucasian Chalk Circle by Bertholt Brecht in Vietnam, on behalf of the Goethe-Institut Vietnam.