Kasperl in der Türkei, ein konstantinopolitanisches Lustspiel [Kasperl in Turkey, a Comedy in Constantinople] is the longer version of the play published by Pocci in 1854 and adapted this time for the repertoire of Josef Leonhard Schmid's puppet theatre. Pocci develops some of the orientalist motifs of his time, with the occasional racist stereotype. He gives a more prominent role to the character of Mimikatzi, who we learn in the second act is a white woman who has been painted black by a slave trader in order to sell her to the sultan's seraglio. But Kasperl and Mimikatzi’s escape above all gives Pocci a good opportunity to parody Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio (1782). The epilogue, written in verse, pokes fun particularly at the pompous dramaturgy of his librettist Gottlieb Stephanie. As usual, Pocci does not refrain from a touch of self-mockery: the inhabitant of Ammerland Castle on the shores of Lake Starnberg, like the Sultan in the play, is also a ruler persecuted by mosquitoes.
The abduction from the seraglio
In this expanded version of the play, Kasperl introduces himself to the Sultan as a botanist and impresses him with his knowledge of radishes (which go well with beer), so much so that he is hired into his service. But he is unhappy with his situation in a Muslim country where the consumption of alcohol is forbidden (except for the Sultan, in secret). He decides to flee with the slave Mimikatzi, who is being held in Schuriburi's seraglio. Kasperl offers to rid the Sultan of the mosquitoes he has to complain about and beats him to death with his stick. Night falls: Kasperl and Mimikatzi flee.
Représentation au Münchner Marionettentheater de Josef Leonhard Schmid
Publications and translations
Franz Pocci: Lustiges Komödienbüchlein, München, J.J. Lentner, 1859, 119-138