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Young Directors Project
Iliya Troyanov The World is Wide and Salvation Lurks Everywhere

Adapted for the stage by Jette Steckel and Susanne Meister
Hamburg, Germany
Adapted for the stage by Jette Steckel and Susanne Meister
Hamburg, Germany

World premiere
In German with English surtitles

Coproduction with the Thalia Theater, Hamburg

Duration of the performance: approx. 3 hours, one break


  • 21 August 2009, 20:00


  • 21 August 2009, 20:00


  • 22 August 2009, 20:00
  • 23 August 2009, 20:00



Print programme (PDF)


Jette Steckel, Stage Director
Florian Lösche, Set Design
Pauline Hüners, Costume Design
Mark Badur, Ulrich Kodjo Wendt, Music
Susanne Meister, Dramaturgy


Jörg Pohl, Alexandar
Mirco Kreibich, Vasko, his father
Lisa Hagmeister, Tatjana, his mother
Verena Reichhardt, Slatka, his grandmother
Bruno Cathomas, Bai Dan, his godfather


The story begins in the East, at the edge of Europe, where it ends and where it never began. Alex’ father flees with his family from the daily grind of socialism to the Promised Land. However, overcoming the Iron Curtain leads them directly into the narrowness of a refugee camp near Triest.
Years later, Alex has grown up, and his parents’ dreams – having a two-room apartment within ten years – have come true, but nothing has been won. The longing for freedom has led to the loneliness of individuality.
Everything changes when Bai Dan turns up, a 99-year-old wizzard at dice, a messenger from his lost childhood, a bonvivant and teller of fairy-tales. With a backgammon board under his arm, he seduces Alex, the young man grown prematurely old, to accompany him on a voyage into the world of games and imagination.
Ilya Troyanov, born in 1965 in Sofia, raised in Kenya and Germany, is an author, journalist, publisher and has been a travelling writer all his life. Like few other German-language authors, he has not only taken position as a cosmopolitan in the debate on cultural identity with his internationally successful bestseller Der Weltensammler (The Collector of Worlds). In his 1996 debut novel Die Welt ist groß und Rettung lauert überall (The World is Wide and Salvation Lurks Everywhere), it is the homo ludens, the playing human, who conceives playfulness as a principle of anarchy through which he overcomes forced limitations, liberating himself by departing for the unknown.