Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Bertha Benz Featured at the Mercedes-Benz Museum

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Live radio play “My dream is longer than the night” in the Mercedes-Benz Museum from 3 to 5 May 2019. Performances at the Studio Theatre Stuttgart, June 2018. Credit Stephan Haase.

From 3 to 5 May 2019, the live radio play “My dream is longer than the night”, which recounts the life of mobility pioneer Bertha Benz, is showing at the Casino in the Mercedes-Benz Museum. The production, which has already enjoyed considerable success at the Studio Theatre in Stuttgart, can be seen at two evening and two family performances on the 170th anniversary of the birthday (3 May) and the 75th anniversary of the death of Bertha Benz (5 May). Advance tickets are available from 27 February 2019 on
Stuttgart. A powerful story, minimalist set, imaginatively generated sound effects and powerful oration: a live radio play blends elements of theatre, reading and traditional radio drama to create an exciting stage performance. From 3 to 5 May 2019, acting trio Susanne Theil (Bertha Benz), Martin Bonvicini (Carl Benz) and Boris Rosenberger (multiple roles) will be staging this event, “My dream is longer than the night”, at the Mercedes-Benz Museum.
The piece takes the members of the audience back to the late 19th century and involves them in the fascinating life story of mobility pioneer Bertha Benz. Children aged eight and above are invited to participate in the two interactive family shows: they will be able to assist the actors from their seats in the auditorium by producing background noises such as steam hissing and the wind blowing.
This live radio play event takes place four times from 3 to 5 May 2019 in the Casino on the top floor of the Mercedes-Benz Museum. The performances mark the occasions of the 170th birthday (3 May 2019) and the 75th anniversary of the death (5 May 2019) of Bertha Benz.
Stuttgart director and author Günter Maurer has produced this fascinating performance on the basis of the book “My dream is longer than the night. How Bertha Benz powered her husband to world fame” by Angela Elis (published in 2010 by Hoffmann und Campe).
Take a break with a patent motor car
The two family shows are scheduled for 4 May at 2 pm and 5 May at 11 am. After each show, there is an opportunity to admire an authentic replica of the Benz patent motorcar in operation outside the Mercedes-Benz Museum. Individual rides can be arranged.
During the two evening performances on 3 May and 4 May at 7.30 pm, the world’s first motorcar will also be playing a role: during the intermission, guests at the live radio play will be able to visit the area called Mythos 1 in the permanent exhibition and see the patent motorcar and Gottlieb Daimler’s motor carriage.
Tickets for the live radio play cost 14 euros for adults (reduced 7 euros) and admission is free for children up to and including the age of 14. All the tickets for the live audio play also entitle the holder to visit the Mercedes-Benz Museum on the same day, which is open until 7.30 pm. The tickets are available here Advance ticket sale begins on 27 February.
One of the great stories of our day
This motorcar pioneer is born on 3 May 1849 in Pforzheim as Bertha Ringer. At the age of 23, she marries Carl Benz and soon becomes a crucial supporter of his professional activities. After the invention of the automobile in 1886, Bertha realises that this groundbreaking innovation lacks, among other things, a good public relations approach. Initially, people are sceptical about the new means of transport.
In August 1888, Bertha Benz resolves to drive from Mannheim to Pforzheim with the later development of the patent motorcar, the Model 3. In doing so, she demonstrates how reliable and simple the operation of the vehicle is and that it can cover a considerable distance. This trip brings Bertha Benz worldwide fame. She dies on 5 May 1944, two days after her 95th birthday. The life of the mobility pioneer is one of the great stories of our day.
The actors of the live audio play “My dream is longer than the night” about the play and their roles:
Susanne Theil completed her drama training at the Freiburg drama academy in the E-Werk theatre. Since 2010, she has been working as a freelance actress and is a regular dubbing artist for SWR and other radio stations. “To be allowed to play a woman like Bertha Benz is a real honour. She is strong-willed, fearless, emancipated, energetic and enterprising – yet absolutely modern and ahead of her time. I am impressed by the strength with which this mother of several children is the driving force behind, or better said beside, mostly even in front of, her husband. Every time I experience this blend of acting and oration coupled with the imaginatively generated sound effects that draw the audience into the history of the Benz family, it inspires me anew.”
Martin Bonvicini completed his acting training at the Academy of Performing Arts in Ulm in 2012. Since 2014, he has been working freelance and, to a large extent, as a narrator. “ What fascinates me about ‘My dream is longer than the night’ is above all the frequent interchange between dramatic and technical, between characters and narrative parts. Often we do several things at once – that’s quite a challenge and great fun.”
Boris Rosenberger learnt his acting skills in Stuttgart. In addition to his stage work as a freelance actor, he has also appeared in television productions, directed a musical production with children and holds acting workshops. “To make the life of Bertha and Carl Benz so real and tangible in a live radio play and slipping into so many different roles in doing so has become a great experience for myself. Presenting this now in the Mercedes-Benz Museum, at the birthplace of mobility, as it were, and to involve the audience in such fun, is my personal dream, which, by the way, also lasts longer than the night.”
The Mercedes-Benz Museum is open Tuesdays to Sundays from 9 am to 6 pm. Last admission is at 5 pm. Registration, reservations and latest information: Monday to Sunday from 9 am to 6 pm by telephone on +49 (0)711-30000, by email to or online at
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