Heidi Trautmann

543 - Kleiner Mann, was nun? - Little Man, What Now? – Küçük Adam, Ne Oldu Sana?

A novel by the German writer Hans Fallada on stage at the 11th Cyprus Theatre Festival by the the ‘Sadri Alışık Theatre’


By Heidi Trautmann


On Sunday, 15 September 2013, we saw the 6th theatre play out of 13 during the Theatre Festival organised by Nicosia Municipality Theatre at the Atatürk Cultural Centre of the Near East University and it was to the tunes of the old Berlin song ‘Lili Marleen’ once sung by the famous Lale Andersen and Marlene Dietrich, that I entered the auditorium which was full again to the last seat. It was to be ‘Little Man, What Now?’  a novel by Hans Fallada, which was first published in 1932, a year prior to Adolf Hitler's  rise to power. The book was an immediate success in  Germany, today considered as modern classic, describing the last days of the Weimar Republic.  The playwright of the Turkish version is Yilmaz Onay, director Bariş Erdenk.


I liked the stage décor, an old train wagon on rails which could be pulled forward, opened partly or entirely and with slightly varying props it could be changed into a second and/or third stage on the stage, a sort of modular construction set.

It is a difficult play, very text intensive, to present the living conditions of the white-collar workers of the time around 1930. It is also to show the roles of trade unions, governmental institutions, and unemployment and the hopeless, unfriendly and competitive situation in the labour market.

A young bookkeeper and his wife expecting a baby:  the young husband keeps on losing his jobs and the situation becomes desperate.  The acting of the main characters was very good. I noted that the silent figures continued to take part in the development of the plot by expressive mime, movements with hands, body and by facial expressions, which impressed me.

The story was told in separate images interrupted by cabaret interludes with a mistress of ceremony played by the main character in a double role. These interludes made the play rather long, distracted from the gravity of the situation and disconnected the images of the story. This is my opinion, however was confirmed by people sitting next to me and by friends.  I believe that the figure of the newspaper vendor and the appearance of the mistress of ceremony would have sufficed.

The story was played on many stages across Europe and was released as several films in Germany, the first foreign release was in 1934 in the States; in 1967 another version of the film was brought out with a young actress by the name of Jutta Hoffmann; this lady came to visit Cyprus in 2012 on the occasion of a Show of old important East-German films organised by the Goethe Institute in Nicosia; she came to visit me in Yeşiltepe and I conducted an interview with her which was published in Cyprus Observer in October 2012. I am sure she would have loved to be with us for the theatre event on last Sunday.

A little side story that goes with the theatre evening and which made the entire audience jump out of their seats and applaud enthusiastically for several minutes after Yaşar Ersoy, the Grey Eminence of the Theatre had said, after he had announced the theatre event opened : “Let us sell the riot tank and we finish building our theatre!” Bravo!

Our thanks go to the Sadri Alışık Theatre for participating in the Cyprus Theatre Festival.


YAZAN                       : HANS FALLADA


YÖNETEN                  : BARIŞ ERDENK

MÜZİK                     : CAVANŞİR GÜLİYEV

DEKOR                       : AYTUĞ DERELİ



KOSTÜM                   : FUNDA SARI

IŞIK                            : CENGİZ ÖZDEMİR


OYUNCULAR            :


Songül Öden,

Deniz Celiloğlu,

Gülsen Tuncer,

Metin Büktel,

 Eser Karabil,

Ayhan Anıl,

Utku Demirkaya,

Yiğit Pakmen,

Arzu Kaya Hazman,

Cem Güler,

Ece Müderrisoğlu,

Elif Çakman,

Engin Demircioğlu,

Özlem Özkoşar,

Sevda Can,

Sinem Erten





Jutta Hoffmann in Cyprus 2012
Jutta Hoffmann in Cyprus 2012

Jutta Hoffmann in the film
Jutta Hoffmann in the film 'Kleiner Mann was nun?'

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