Schiller’s epic tale of treachery set during the Thirty Years’ War – originally a trilogy of plays – is here adapted by Mike Poulton into a gripping single play with all the drama and twists of fate of a Shakespearean tragedy.
Albrecht von Wallenstein, Duke of Friedland, Supreme Commander of the Hapsburg armies, champion and saviour of the Holy Roman Empire, stands undefeated in a seemingly endless war of religion. A victim of his own military success, Wallenstein believes he is the only commander who can bring peace to the Empire.
In the field, Wallenstein inspires fanatical loyalty in his troops. At court, politicians, jealous of his victories, howl for his dismissal and plot against his life. Four wintry days of terrible events, conspiracy, divided loyalty and betrayal culminate in one night of violent score-settling.
Wallenstein’s struggle is played out on a vast European stage, but the heart of the tragedy is private and domestic: wives, children, lovers and friends must bear the heaviest burden of suffering.
This English version of Friedrich Schiller’s Wallenstein was first staged at Chichester Festival Theatre in 2009.
‘Thrilling… a jet-propelled adaptation… Schiller’s verse drama deserves to be much better known’
‘Historical-political drama on the grand scale… Mike Poulton’s new two-and-three-quarter-hour version proves eminently playable and dramatically engrossing’