Tschick, a moving German play from 2011 that traces two boys’ summer adventure returns, following its award-winning Japan premiere at Setagaya Public Theatre (SePT) in 2017.
Written by the author, painter and illustrator Wolfgang Herrndorf (1965–2013), the original 2010 novel of the same name has been published in more than 25 countries and won numerous awards worldwide.
After the book was dramatized, making its theatre debut in Berlin in 2011, it became the most frequently staged play in Germany the year following, and is still often performed to full houses.
Tschick is a road-trip story that revolves around two 14-year-old friends — one a middle-class outsider named Maik; the other Tschick, a Russian immigrant — who go off on a trip in an old stolen car during their summer holiday.
Following the 2017 version, the play will be directed by its translator, German-born director Yuna Koyama, who won several awards for her work then. The protagonists Maik and Tschick will also again be performed by Akinobu Shinoyama and Tokio Emoto, who earned high praise for their persuading portrayal of the adolescent boys’ volatile emotions. In addition, Kate Doi will once again take the role of Isa, a mysterious girl who lives alone on a rubbish dump, while Akira Otaka reprises his portrayal of Maik’s father and several other characters. Joining the cast is Sayoko Nasu, playing Maik’s mother who supports him despite her struggles with alcoholism, and other characters that the boys encounter.
A powerful depiction of the pure and bitter feelings that conflict adolescents, and the heartache of difficulties growing up brings with into life, Tschick is a drama that resonates widely. Its depiction of the global issue of immigration, and the boys’ complicated family backgrounds, the piece is filled with the excitements of a same-era masterpiece, while portraying universal problems. Answering the calls of many people who urged SePT for a rerun, we present you Tschick, this piece loved all over the world.
There was trouble and sadness in the air, as two school friends started their long summer holidays.
For 14-year-old outsider Maik, who is bored at school and depressed by constant arguments at home between his father and mother, life seems pretty hopeless. That’s until a new student, Tschick joins his class. Tschick, a Russian immigrant, is an eccentric rebel.
One day, Tschick unexpectedly arrives at Maik’s door.
With that the pair set off in his stolen Soviet-era Lada Niva on a summer holiday adventure to meet unknown people in an unknown world.
▼Review extracts from the 2017 run at SePT
I saw a gleam of purity in these boys’ little adventure, as well as heartrending sorrow. This is a precious work which innocence touched the hearts of cynical adults. (Mainichi newspaper; 8.23.17)
It was a very interesting play in which it came as a refreshing surprise to see how a boy’s dramatic experience during his summer holiday would change his whole life. (Nihon Keizai newspaper; 8.23.17)
Though the boys’ adventure do not finish as a happy ending, the play is invigorated. Koyama’s direction stimulated the audience’s imagination as the performances vividly and movingly conjured memories of their own summer holidays. (Yomiuri newspaper; 8.22.17)
In 2017, the 25th Yomiuri Drama Award for excellent direction to Yuna Koyama; and for excellent stage design to Masahito Norimine.
The 10th Yushi Odashima Drama Translation Award, 2017, to Yuna Koyama.
For more details, please click HERE for the online page of Tschick 2017.
Cast & Creative
Based on a novel by Wolfgang Herrndorf
Dramatized by Robert Koall
Translated & Directed by Yuna Koyama
Tokio Emoto Akinobu Shinoyama Kate Doi Sayoko Nasu Akira Otaka
Comments from the director and translator, Yuna Koyama
I am so delighted as this will be the first rerun of anything I have directed.
Tschick has great potential for any director, and I am gifted to work with great actors and staff such as set designer Masahiro Norimine, who inspire me and provide wonderful ideas for the piece. With Sayoko Nasu as a member of the team, I am looking forward to her input improving the production even more.
This play offers various perspectives relating to leading issues in today’s world. The rather peculiar newcomer Tschick, who is an immigrant, and the presence of Isa who lives on a rubbish dump, are both innocent young victims of this competitive society.
For my second take on Tschick, I have been able to delve more deeply with the company members into these characters’ social backgrounds and inner wounds. I am sure that people who saw the play two years ago will enjoy it even more this time.
The protagonists are fragile 14-year-old children. The play depicts in brilliant depths, the alienation they experience as minorities, and the sensitivity of youth. It doesn’t just speak to young people, but to older generations who struggle with their work and daily lives. I think the production has increasingly evolved into a play where adult audiences will also be able to empathize with the characters and feel invigorated leaving the theater. I hope many people come to see the production, and create a dialogue with new reactions and discoveries along with the audience.
Services for audience members with hearing difficulties
▼Sign-language interpreting service
A sign-language interpreter will work on the audience’s left side of the stage during the following performances:
July 14 at 13:00 –
July 23 at 19:00 –
▼Script-lending service（Japanese text only)
SePT will lend out the script of Tschick by mail if any customer with hearing difficulty requests. To loan a script, please send an e-mail by the title << Request to loan a script of Tschick >> including the following information:
(1) Name (2) Planned date to see Tschick (3) Address and contact phone number.
Please contact SePT for more information.
Attn: Theatergoing support section at SePT
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★=Drama reading performance PICTURES OF YOUR TRUE LOVE, the sequel to Tschick
This performance is a dramatization of “Pictures of Your True Love: An Unfinished Novel” by Wolfgang Herrndorf.
◆=Cameras will be installed in the audience area for recording purposes.
■ = Stage Explanation for People with Visual Disabilities
Advance application required. Free. Before the 13:00 performance on Sat 27 July, we will explain aspects that are difficult to understand without seeing them, such as stage settings and costumes. People with a ticket for this performance may attend.
△= Sign-language interpreting service
A childcare service is normally available for performances staged at Setagaya Public Theatre and Theatre Tram for which advance tickets are sold.
|Charge:||¥2,000 per child|
|Eligibility:||Children aged over 6 months and up to 9 years of age|
|Applications:||Tel. 03-5432-1526 Setagaya Public Theatre
You may reserve childcare services up to noon of the day 3 days before the desired reservation time, but when the number of children registered reaches capacity, applications will closed. So please make your reservation well in advance. Also, please consult with the theatre regarding children with special needs.
|Subcontractor:||Kids’ Room Tinker bell Sancha|
Both Setagaya Public Theatre and Theatre Tram are equipped with wheelchair spaces to allow visitors to watch performances from their wheelchairs. However, as capacity is limited, use of wheelchair spaces is by reservation only.
|Charge:||10% discount on the corresponding area ticket charge (plus up to one attendant free of charge)|
|Applications:||Tel. 03-5432-1515 Theatre Ticket Centre|
Wheelchair spaces may be reserved up to 19:00 on the day before the desired date, but when the number of reservations reaches capacity, applications will be closed. So please make your reservation well in advance. Also, for wheelchair users who prefer to watch the performance from a regular seat, the theatre will smoothly guide them too and from their seat. Please contact the theatre in advance to take advantage of this service.