Documentary theatre about piracy off the Somalian coast

Das Letzte Kleinod stages a documentary play about the dramatic events involving piracy at the Horn of Africa. Somalia has been suffering from civil war and famine for twenty years. Off the Somalian coast pirates hijack, rob and kidnap ships they consider valuable enough for blackmail as the crews of those ships desperately try to defend their lives and goods.

The documentary play ATALANTA is based on oral witness reports. Author Jens-Erwin Siemssen interviewed seamen who work on anti-piracy missions, ship owners and crewmembers of a hijacked ship. During his research Siemssen also travelled to East Africa. In Zanzibar a sailor spoke to him about his 11-months hostage confinement on a container ship hijacked by pirates.

In July of 2012 rehearsals for ATALANTA began with Tanzanian actors John Gambula and Huruma Haule and Kenyan actor John Leonard Ongaya in the Little Theatre Club in Mombasa, Kenya. In August, Dutch actress Gonny Gaakeer and German actors Nikolas Knauf and Dominik Breuer commenced their rehearsals on the cargo ship OXL Lotus and accompanied it on a tramp trade from Rotterdam to Malta. In the end the ensemble united at the theatre’s home train station in Geestenseth, Northern Germany, for the final rehearsals before opening.

ATALANTA premiered on September 6th, 2012 at the new shipping container terminal in Wilhelmshaven, additional performances took place in Bremerhaven and Cuxhaven. Eventually the ensemble traveled to Tanzania to perform at the Festival of Arts in Bagamoyo and at the Goethe Institute in Daressalam.

Ensemble: John Gambula (Tansania), Huruma Haule (Tansania), Leonard Ongaya (Kenia), Gonny Gaakeer (Niederlande), Nikolas Knauf (Deutschland), Dominik Breuer (Deutschland)

Script and direction: Jens-Erwin Siemssen
Co-diretion: Melanie Pieper
Dramaturgy: Juliane Lenssen
Production: Ulrike Seybold
Light: Thimo Kortmann
Technics: Jan-Patrick Heinicke, Jamuna Putzke, Hermann Hoffmann
Office: Katrin Aevers, Claudia Stollenwerk

Locations: Wilhelmshaven, Bremerhaven, Cuxhaven, Bagamoyo, Daressalam