Austria's last executioner

The hangman

From the life of Josef Lang,

k. u. k. Executioner

He really existed, this Josef Lang, the last executioner of the k. & k. Monarchy in Vienna. Highly respected, this man of the cloth kept company with the highest rulers. Lang enjoyed great social esteem among his fellow men and was a public figure.

With the abolition of the death penalty in 1918, Lang was taken out of service. For him, the always loyal and correct executioner, "professionless" meant only the memory of "better" days.

The hangman as a stage version

Viennese-born Marko Formanek, directed by Geriet Schieske, portrays Josef Lang in an intense monologue in which the executioner becomes increasingly absorbed in what he sees as the logical (and, from today's perspective, sometimes grotesque) understanding of law and justice in order to finally carry out his final execution - on himself.

The creatives

Marko Formanek, Josef Lang

Born in Vienna, he came to Hamburg 25 years ago for The Buddy Holly story . In the 6 years of the successful production, he stood on stage with black framed glasses well over 1000 times.

Excursions into opera (Neue Oper Wien: Das Wintermärchen, Mass) and operetta (Gräfin Mariza, Im weißen Rößl) are as much a part of his work as composing and writing lyrics as well as many, many musicals such as Freak Out, Fred vom Jupiter, Hossa etc....

He also works as a voice-over artist.

At the moment he is still performing his solo programme "Long Live the Central Cemetery" and with Buddy forever.

Geriet Schieske, direction

Since his apprenticeship in the 1960s, Geriet Schieske has acted and directed his way through the German theatre province, later through the private theatres of Hamburg and the tabloid stages of the Republic. A season as a member of the "Düsseldorfer Kom(m)ödchen" with Harald Schmidt and H. E. Balder opened the doors to private TV for him.

After directing 147 episodes of "RTL-Samstag Nacht", various directing offers followed for sketch-comedy series and finally for the most successful sitcom on German television: "Hausmeister Krause".

1996 new staging of The Buddy Holly story, and artistic direction until closing night.

Since 2003 he has directed all of Bülent Ceylan's stage programmes.

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