The Flying Child

“When darkness falls, a big black car drives through the streets of the city, and takes our children…”

The Story

Roland Schimmelpfennig is a giant among European playwrights – the most-performed living playwright in the German language. The Flying Child is one of his latest. Shot through with music and storytelling, the play unfolds like a Grimm’s fairy tale for the modern world. It’s the story of a child’s fate – and how all of those around the child – parents, teachers, citizens – are together bound up in this fate. Gradually, it becomes clear that this story is larger than we might at first have guessed.

Set on St. Martin’s night – when school children parade through the streets of the city with paper lanterns – the play dances back and forth between the everyday world of teachers and construction workers, to a magical realist world of rainforests under threat, and a child who can fly. It is a major new play from one of the world’s greatest living playwrights.

Listen to a brief excerpt from our preliminary workshop. The songs are traditional hymns and folk tunes included in the play by playwright Roland Schimmelpfennig. The arrangements are by John Millard. Direction by Ross Manson. Cast: Troy Adams, Robert Persichini, Anand Rajaram, Fiona Reid, Amy Rutherford, Eliza-Jane Scott.

Our People

Written by | Roland Schimmelpfennig

Translation and Direction by | Ross Manson

Music Director and Arranger | John Millard

Choreographer | Heidi Strauss

Initial Workshop Cast | Troy Adams, Robert Persichini, Anand Rajaram, Fiona Reid, Amy Rutherford, Eliza-Jane Scott

Initial Workshop Stage Manager | Isabelle Ly

Initial Workshop Assistant Director | Jasmine Chen

Second Workshop Cast | Troy Adams, Neema Bickersteth, Beau Dixon, Arlene Duncan, Randi Helmers, George Masswohl

Roland Schimmelpfenning

     ©Justine-del-Corte, 2012

     ©Justine-del-Corte, 2012

Roland is a theatre director, playwright and novelist. He began his career as a journalist, but starting in 1990 he studied at the Otto Falkenberg School to be a theatre director. He is now the most-produced living playwright in the German language. He is the wiinner (often more than once) of the most prestigious prizes in German-language theatre: the Else-Lasker-Schüler-Dramatikerpreis (the highest prize for Drama in Germany, which he has won twice), the Nestroy-Theaterpreis (an Austrian prize, it honours the best work in German language theatre, he has also won this twice), and the Mülheimer Dramatikerpreis. Schimmelpfennig has developed his own form of narrative theater, in which characters frequently steer their own roles in order to describe or report on themselves directly to the audience. The work often contains elements of collage, the surreal and the fantastical. His plays have been performed in 40 countries worldwide. He recently wrote his first novel, "On a Clear, Cold January Morning at the Beginning of the 21st century”, which was shortlisted for the Leipzig Book Prize (often referred to as "the second most important German book-prize, after the German Book Prize”). The Village Voice said of him: "Schimmelpfennig connects the everyday with the mythic...and does so with a lightness that is about as German as García Márquez on a sunny day."