Astuli - Plot

A strange juggler invites citizens and the men and women of a small town to attend a comedy play which can only be seen by clever and astute persons. Everyone follows this invitation, if only for the reason that they do not wish to be considered as stupid. The juggler conjures up the figures of the wild and formidable »Onurphi« which fills the citizens with terror and the »Goggolori« who plays a variety of practical jokes on the young women.

Everyone’s longings and wishes for physical comforts are awakened when the juggler conjures up the land of plenty: »the land of Cockaigne«, but he maintains that only those who wear the »robe of Cockaigne« will be able to see into the future. In their newly awakened curiosity, all follow the invitation to take off their clothes in order to don this imaginary special robe. When they realise that they have been tricked and humiliated and that the juggler has disappeared with his booty – he has collected all the discarded clothes! – they are deeply disappointed and enraged.

Everything is however forgotten when the juggler returns in disguise to announce the arrival of the »Goldmaker«: he will turn all their coins into gold! Once more, they allow themselves to be taken in by a trick. Humans wish to be deceived and do not learn by experience.[1]

 

(Stage photo of the first performance, stage design Helmut Jürgens, Munich 1953)
(Stage photo of the first performance, stage design Helmut Jürgens, Munich 1953)

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[1] List of contents (anonymous) in: programme of first performance, Munich Chamber Theatre, Season 1953/54(43rd season), Vol. 1, Munich 1953
Image: Archive Hildegard Steinmetz, German Theatre Museum Munich

First performance

Plot