line 1

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Line 1 is a musical that was premiered by the Berlin Grips Theater on April 30, 1986. Birger Heymann wrote the music with the rock band No ticket , the lyrics were written by his friend Volker Ludwig , the stage was designed by Mathias Fischer-Dieskau and the director was Wolfgang Kolneder . In 1988 it was successfully filmed by Reinhard Hauff .


Line 1 plays in the setting of the Berlin U-Bahn line 1 . At that time, the line ran in the western part of the city between the Ruhleben and Schlesisches Tor ( Kreuzberg ) stations via the Zoo station and crossed different districts with completely different social structures. A country girl comes to Berlin. In search of her Prince Charming, a Berlin rock musician, she gets stuck on subway line 1, the 'Orient Express' to Kreuzberg. You encounter a kaleidoscope of big city types and fates. With her naivety, the girl (Nathalie) provokes contacts, reactions and actions that would otherwise never have happened without her.


The Grips Theater in Berlin

Line 1 was initially ignored by all of Germany's major stages. Line 1 became known nationwide through the fact that several songs were performed on the satirical television program windshield wiper . It was not until the Theater Weeks in Stuttgart, where the musical was the only German contribution, that awareness grew. In 1987, Volker Ludwig was awarded the Mülheim Dramatist Prize for Line 1 . From then on, the Stuttgart State Theater performed the piece and achieved great success with it. Other stages followed. After the Grips Theater had guest performances in Amsterdam , Dublin , Calcutta , London , Paris , New York City , Omsk , Seoul , Vilnius and Vienna , other theaters, including Cologne , Mannheim , Stuttgart , Vienna and New York, the musical in their program. It is quite common in India .

The play became the greatest success of the Grips Theater in Berlin. However, because of the technically complex and expensive show, ticket sales did not cover the costs. After Volker Ludwig mentioned in a talk show that the house would have to close if there was no political support, the authorities increased the basic subsidy.

In the Nuremberg performance of line 1 shown from 1988 onwards , the British rock musician Kevin Coyne took over the musical part of the piece. From autumn 2006 a new production went on tour under the direction of Jürgen Morche , the musical direction of Stephan Winkelhake and the choreography by Angela Hercules Joseph .

The play was the most popular German play of its time. After the Threepenny Opera by Bertolt Brecht , it is the most successful German musical world. Line 1 has also been performed with great success in other countries. Author Ludwig explained this international success by saying that he “designed a typical big city panopticon that is recognizable in all metropolises in the world.” On April 30, 2016, Line 1 celebrated its 30th anniversary at the Grips-Theater Berlin, where the original production now has over 1,700 Times was seen.


First performance in 1986

Season 2016/2017

Track list

  1. 6 a.m. 2 p.m. Bahnhof Zoo *
  2. Day i hate you *
  3. Waiting
  4. Across from**
  5. Come over*
  6. When love awakens
  7. Maria's song (You are beautiful even when you cry) / (Hey you)
  8. Kontrolletti tango
  9. The picker (Horst)
  10. Berlin song
  11. It's wonderful to live **
  12. Line 1 (tourist song)
  13. Take the subway again
  14. Wilmersdorfer widows
  15. I'm at home in every big city
  16. Unknown girl *
  17. obituary
  18. Courage to dream **
  19. Only you
  20. Please hold me tight

* Songs are not included in the film adaptation; ** Songs shortened in the film version


The music is played by the band "No Ticket":


  • The successful film adaptation of the same name was made in 1988, directed by Reinhard Hauff and with a large number of the actors in the original performance at the Grips Theater.
  • Maria's song ( You are beautiful even when you cry ) was adapted by the Beatsteaks and first published in 2002 on the Living Room EP under the title Hey Du . It was also on Hand In Hand as the B-side . In 2008 Hey Du was released as a single from the live album Kanonen auf Spatzen and the associated video was nominated for the Echo 2009 in the Best Video National category. The Berlin rapper Sido also released a single on October 16, 2009 with the title Hey you! , which contains the first verse of Maria's song as a hook . Sido also presented the title as part of his appearance for MTV unplugged , for which he had Berlin comedian Kurt Krömer sing the hook .
  • Line 1 was used by many schools. In March 2014 it was the second time at the Integrated Comprehensive School Schaumburg in Stadthagen. The students prepared the entire plot under professional guidance in around two years. A highlight was the involvement of the former students who had already been involved in the first performance over 14 years earlier and who attended the multiple performances. In June 2014 the Gottfried-Arnold-Gymnasium Perleberg Line 1 played in cooperation with the Prignitz District Music School as part of the 775th anniversary celebration of Perleberg and the 2015 State Music School Days.
  • A Korean adaptation by Kim Min-ki premiered in South Korea in 1994 . The play ran for thirteen years in the same theater, making it the most successful musical in South Korea to date.
  • The first adaptation for puppet theater premiered on October 1, 2015 in Lübeck at the Lübeck Puppet Theater. The version was staged by the Kobalt Puppet Theater Lübeck with 41 figures and three players in an open style of play.


  • LINE 1 on Polydor
    • LP 831 219 - 1
    • MC 831 219 - 4
    • CD 831 219 - 2
  • Movie soundtrack
    • LP 835 391 - 1
    • MC 835 391 - 4
    • CD 835 391 - 2
  • VHS video
    • Duration: 90 min.
    • Studio: Marketing Film
  • DVD
    • available since October 24, 2008
    • Duration: 95 min.
    • Studio: Kinowelt Home Entertainment
  • DVD of the stage version
    • Duration: 175 min.


  • Theater landscapes: GRIPS Theater Berlin. Documentary, Germany, 2008, 30 min., Script and direction: Jobst Knigge , moderation: Esther Schweins , production: ZDFtheaterkanal , 3sat , ZDFdokukanal , series: Theaterlandschaften , first broadcast: December 28, 2008 on 3sat, summary by ; on reception history in Germany and internationally as well as on the stage.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Line 1 from Volker Ludwig and Birger Heymann | Felix Bloch Erben GmbH & Co. KG. Retrieved November 17, 2017 .
  2. a b Julia Prosinger and Wolfgang Prosinger : "They called me a Stalinist, Maoist and child molester". In: Der Tagesspiegel , April 28, 2016, interview with Volker Ludwig.
  3. dpa : Kevin Coyne died. ( Memento from December 27, 2012 in the web archive ). In: Elbe-Jeetzel-Zeitung , December 3, 2004.
  4. ^ Line 1 from Volker Ludwig and Birger Heymann | Felix Bloch Erben GmbH & Co. KG. Retrieved November 17, 2017 .
  5. Volker Ludwig: Line 1 musical review text book . Ed .: GRIPS Theater GmbH Berlin. 7th edition. Verlag Autoragentur GmbH, Berlin October 2004, p. 14-15 .
  6. Volker Ludwig: Line 1 musical review text book . Ed .: GRIPS Theater GmbH Berlin. 7th edition. Authors Agency GmbH, Berlin October 2004, p. 17 .
  7. Volker Ludwig: Line 1 musical review text book . Ed .: GRIPS Theater GmbH Berlin. 7th edition. Authors Agency GmbH, Berlin October 2004, p. 31-33 .
  8. Volker Ludwig: Linie1 musical review text book . Ed .: GRIPS Theater GmbH Berlin. 7th edition. Author Agency GmbH, Berlin October 2004, p. 38-39 .
  9. Volker Ludwig: Line 1 musical review text book . Ed .: GRIPS Theater GmbH. 7th edition. Author Agency GmbH, Berlin October 2004.
  10. Ed. Grips Theater GmbH Berlin, text book for the musical revue line 1, 7th edition October 2004
  11. TK: 50 Most Influential K-Pop Artists: 31. Kim Min-Gi. In: Ask a Korean! , March 31, 2011, accessed on March 15, 2017: “In 1994 Kim directed a musical Line One, which was originally a German musical adjusted to take on a Korean narrative, again describing the downtrodden people in the ghettos of Seoul . It became the most successful musical in Korean history, running for 13 years in the same theater. "
  12. ↑ Puppet Theater Lübeck
  13. ^ S. Gerdesmeier: Line 1 in the Lübeck Puppet Theater. Dolls bring Berlin originals to life. In: , September 29, 2015.