Based on real world events, the Berlin Wall looms large in the Australian premiere of Peter Fechter: 59 Minutes by Jordan Tannahill, presented at the Meat Market Stables, as part of the 2023 Midsumma Festival: 1 – 11 February.
1962, East Berlin. Peter Fechter lies in the Death Strip with a fatal bullet wound to the pelvis after an attempt to escape to the West. For 59 minutes, the teenage body remains where it fell – in full view of Western onlookers and Eastern guards.
From gunshot to final breath, Fechter hears the lives of family, friends, and strangers unfolding in the city around him – dozens of voices converging in the moment of his death and illuminating his decision to risk it all for love.
Directed by Gavin Roach, Carlo Hengstler brings this heart-breaking story of family ties, oppression, liberty, and cloistered sexuality, to the stage with a wry humour, difficult truths and unexpected joy.
“Peter Fechter: 59 Minutes is a moving story of an 18-year-old who risked everything for love and freedom.” – After the House Lights
Director: Gavin Roach | Performer: Carlo Hengstler | Sound Designer & Composer: Jack Burmeister | Co-Lighting Designers: Ashleigh Basham & Justin Heaton | Set Designer: Fernando Ulloa | Stage Manager: Andrew Hughes
Peter Fechter: 59 Minutes
Meat Market Stables, 2 Wreckyn Street, North Melbourne
Season: 1 – 11 February 2023
Information and Bookings: www.midsumma.org.au
Image: Carlo Hengstler – photo by by Cameron Grant