Der böse Geist Lumpaci Vagabundus
Silent movie (Deutschland, 1922)
Director: Carl Wilhelm
Viennese debut performanc
Saturday, 27 February 2016, 7.30 pm
Johann Nestroy and the Theater an der Wien are connected by a shared history that begins with the year in which they were both “born”, 1801. From 1831, the wittiest satirist of the Alt-Wiener Volkstheater was engaged at this theatre as an actor and playwright for an annual salary of 1,200 guldens. On 11 April 1833 what is probably his best-known fairytale farce Der böse Geist (“evil spirit”) Lumpazivagabundus received its premiere. Nestroy himself played the part of Knieriem; of all the roles he created, he played this one more than any other, and also bade his final farewell to Viennese audiences with it on 4 March 1862.
In 1921, a production of the play premiered at the Staatstheater Berlin. The “dissolute clover-leaf” of the play’s subtitle refers to the three selfindulgent journeymen who, in this production, were portrayed by the popular Viennese actor Karl Etlinger and the Germans Fritz Hirsch and Otto Laubinger. This trio was immediately engaged by the Viennese director Carl Wilhelm for a film version. To play Lumpaci Vagabundus (as the film title is spelled) he engaged Hans Albers. The original movie poster (and the costume designs) was by the illustrator Walter Trier, who later became famous for his illustrations for Erich Kästner’s children’s books. Filming took place in Berlin in the summer of 1922 (studio), with location filming in the Wachau region (Krems Gate in Dürnstein). Records show that the finished film ran in German, Austrian and Swedish cinemas. 90 years after the premiere, the export negative has now been made available by the Film Archive Department of the German National Archives for digitisation so that you can once again experience Lumpaci Vagabundus on the big screen with excellent picture quality. The new music score was written by the young Austrian composer Florian C. Reithner.