For "Winnetou III", a new man has been hired as Old Shatterhand in Mörschied. No lesser than Helmut Urban will stand by Eric Nisius in the summer if he has to fight his final fight as Winnetou.
Karl May & Co.
By Michael Kunz
March 27, 2022
It's really special news that those responsible for the Mörschied open-air theater can delight and lure visitors with this year: A new man has been hired as Old Shatterhand for "Winnetou III". None other than Helmut Urban will be at Eric Nisius' side when he has to fight his last fight as Winnetou.
From 2008 to 2018, the Viennese actor has already put on the Old Shatterhand costume ten times, convincing many on the stages in Winzendorf and Dasing that he is one of the best interpreters of Karl May's alter ego. In Mörschied he now fills a gap that arose when audience favorite Hans-Joachim "Hansi" Klein left the stage. It was a little difficult to replace his father after all these years, says Alexander Klein, who has been chairman of the sponsoring association since October, in addition to his duties as marketing manager for the games. For many years, the idea had been to set up Jan-Christian Ries as his successor. But he was only there as a Winnetou replacement in 2021 and could not play this season either. "Hansi" Klein himself suggested Marcus Jakovljevic last summer who for two years as a professional provided important help with the construction of the Mörschieder stage, which actually sees itself as a purely amateur project on principle. Marcus Jakovljevic himself found himself "too fat" for the role in 2021, but above all he didn't know whether he would be able to come to the Hunsrück again in view of other commitments that were looming. Nevertheless: "He was our Shatterhand," assures Alexander Klein. Until the final cancellation came, which everyone understood. And there is still the hope of having him in Mörschied again in the future, whether he would be able to come to the Hunsrück again at all in view of other commitments that were looming.
But what to do? This is exactly where Helmut Urban comes into play as the perfect alternative. He was visiting Mörschied in 2021 and then spoke to author and director Marcel Gillmann about a possible role. "So we just called him - and he still wanted to," says Alexander Klein and feels a little proud that the second professional actor would now like to be part of the team. All of this shows that the stage has been on the right track for several years, says the 28-year-old, who was able to fulfill a small dream last year with the title role in "Half-Breed". "We used to be just the small stage somewhere," adds Klein. Something changed with the trade fair in Idar-Oberstein, and this development continues.
Helmut Urban has offered to play for free. "He probably just has the feeling that he's not quite finished with the role," Alexander Klein understood his new colleague, who registered with the Mörschiedern at the beginning of May for the start of rehearsals and "wants to be on site for the entire three months". Helmut Urban was last on stage in Burgrieden for "Im Tal des Todes" as Robert Wilkins and Lata Nalgut in 2019 and announced a longer farewell to the May scene in 2021.
For Mörschied only this year is planned as a guest appearance. Alexander Klein explains that nothing else was discussed, but he doesn't want to rule out anything either. After all, the hands-on, friendly atmosphere there on Gemstone Street has already convinced others to stay longer.
In any case, Alexander Klein assumes that Helmut Urban can only do well for the stage and all his colleagues. Although he remains realistic and doesn't believe, "That we'll suddenly have 10,000 more viewers". This also did not happen with Marcus Jakovljevic. Of course, the virus also played its part. This spring, despite the rising numbers, this will be left out for the time being: "We plan quite normally!"
According to this, 1000 viewers per performance from July 2nd to August 7th should be able to experience the blood brother dream couple Helmut Urban and Eric Nisius. Who belongs to the best Winnetous.
And Alexander Klein? He will embody his murderer, the Sioux Ko-itse. "Winnetou has thrown me into the afterlife so many times over the years," he laughs: "I always wanted to kill Winnetou once. And now I can finally do it!”