Karl May games: This was the premiere of “The Prince of Oil” with a replacement Winnetou | NDR.de – News

Status: June 26, 2012 3:15 pm

Fans have been waiting for Winnetou at the Charles May Games for two years. On Saturday, the premiere of “Der Ölprinz” took place. The main actor Alexander Klaws had to summon a disease in a short time. Sascha Hödl replaced him.

by Helge Albert

Time and time again it was as if the premiere in Kalkberg could not take place as planned. Originally, “Der Ölprinz” was to be performed in 2020. Due to the pandemic, production had to be shifted twice. This time the plans were shaky too – until the end: due to Corona, the lead role had to be re-cast. And then, shortly before the premiere at the Kalkberg Theater, heavy rain fell – but the first performance did not lose, it barely.

Unrest before the premiere: The Second Oil Prince

Winnetou aka Sascha Hödl on the lap of honor

Even before the cowboys and the Indians drove through the Kalkberg Arena in the style of the Wild West, the prime minister of Schleswig-Holstein Daniel Günther (CDU) was on the scene – with a pistol. Should be firing the starting pistol for the season Karl May. But while the audience anxiously waited for the shot, the man screamed silently through the ranks. In a vest, shirt and hat, he looked like the actor Karl May, also introduced himself as “The Prince of Oil.”

Günther: “Finally, I want to shoot now”

People in the audience looked irritably between the stage and the level. “After all, I want to shoot now,” Günther interrupted the alleged actor, and the audience laughed. And the politician added, “That’s not part of it, these are climate activists who think they have to spoil our fun here.” Applause from the audience, the men were accompanied by the arena stewards and Günther fired a pistol.

Upload with

AUDIO: Karl May games: This is how the premiere of “The Prince of Oil” took place with Karrenbauer, Hehn and Hödl (3 min)

Betrayal, betrayal and reconciliation

This was how it continued at the beginning of the piece – with rockets, roar and fire. There was a fight right away on the stage. Story: An unscrupulous businessman named Prince Kerosene wants to earn a lot of money and lure a banker into a trap with his stepbrother. But the Apache chief Winnetou, his blood brother Old Shatterhand, and the trapper Sam Hawkens stand in their way. However, Winnetou and Old Shatterhand must also bring peace to the two fighting Apache tribes.

Only a six-day trial period for the new Winnetou

Winnetou, who was driving through the arena to the premiere, was actually supposed to be played by Klaws. Due to coronary disease, he did not manage to return to the Karol May stage in time. His colleague Hödl had to step in. He had two other roles planned, so he only had six rehearsal days – instead of five weeks.

A spokesman for the Karl May Games, Michael Stamp, said the planned actor Winnetou was not present at the premiere, which had never happened before. Winnetou was replaced only once – in 1966. The then actor Winnetou broke his leg and was unable to play the last show, according to Stamp.

Loyal fans waited two years

Evening mood above Kalkberg © NDR.de Photo: Doreen Pelz

Evening mood above Kalkberg

Even with the replacement of the lead actor, the audience and performers were happy that it finally worked this time. The managing director of the operating company, Ute Thienel, told of the many loyal fans who had already bought their 2020 tickets but did not return them. Thomas Sperveslage is like that too. “We kept the tickets, we really wanted to come back,” he says. He comes every year with a large branch from Lower Saxony. “The scenery speaks for itself. We are happy to be here, ”he said before the premiere.

Winnetou exchange inspires the audience

The changed main role did not disturb the viewers – on the contrary: for many, Hödl is not a deputy, but the main Winnetou for the evening. You don’t even notice he’s an understudy. Great respect for him! Learn all of this in such a short time, really great! ”Said one Karl May fan. Another viewer is happy: “He’s great, he deserves this chance. It’s fun to watch it, completely professional. “

Goosebumps and tears of joy for Sascha Hödl

Winnetou actor Hödl spoke of goosebumps and tears of joy as he reported on his premiere performance. It was just beautiful, indescribable. “This is a great opportunity,” he said of his new role. “But most of all it’s important that we played because the audience has been waiting for it for so long.” Nobody was happy with the situation. “But it’s good that we’ve had a premiere now.”

From an Apache chieftain to an oilfield owner and warrior Nijora

Hödl will likely stay as Winnetou in Bad Segeberg for a week, then Klaws will play the Apache boss as planned. Hödl wasn’t disappointed, however, that he would play his original roles: “I have two great roles and I prepared for them, I was looking forward to it and will be on the throttle next week.” He will then play oilfield owner and warrior Nijor until September 4 in Bad Segeberg. Until then, “Der Ölprinz” will be played at the Kalkberg Arena.

Further information

Actor Alexander Klaws, disguised as Winnetou, rides a horse around Bad Segeberg's outdoor stage.  © photo of the alliance /

The actor will not be able to attend the premiere in Kalkberg due to Covid’s disease: “I’m just stunned.” still

Actor Sascha Hödl dressed as Winnetou.  © Karl May Games Photo: Claus Harlandt

4 minutes

In an interview with Horst Hoof and Mandy Schmidt, Sascha Hödl explains how he is preparing for the weekend as Winnetou’s deputy. 4 minutes

Actor Ralf Wolter as Sam Hawkins' bizarre trapper during the filming of Karl May

The actor writes a story with a wig scalp in Karl May films. The 95-year-old withdrew from the industry. still

Till Demtroder as Old Shatterhand and Jan Sosniok as Winnetou present scenes from the show

45 minutes

Childhood dreams come true near Kalkberg in Bad Segeberg: the great Karl May Games events take place here. It all started very small in 1952. 45 min

Kalkberg Stadium, when it was opened in 1937 by the Reich Minister Dr.  Goebbels © Hans-Werner Baurycza

October 10, 1937: Nazi propaganda minister Goebbels inaugurates the Nazi roll call square in Kalkberg in Bad Segeberg. Today, the open-air arena is known for the Charles May Games. still

Karl May Matches: Prime Minister Despite Problems

After a two-year break since the Karol May Games, the premiere of “Der Ölprinz” took place. It went different than planned. Sascha Hödl played Winnetou.


Karol Maja Square
23795 Bad Segeberg

Enter my calendar

This topic in the program:

North of NDR wave 1 | News for Schleswig-Holstein | June 26, 2012 | 6:20 a.m.

Keywords for this article


NDR logo

Leave a Comment