Kasperl als Nachtwächter - Franz von Pocci


9 pages


Kasperl als Nachtwächter

Franz von Pocci | 1855 | Munich, Germany
Genre (as defined by the author)
Ein Nachtstück
Casperl Larifari, Grethl, Nachtwächter, Der Vollmond, Tod, Der Gockelhahn
Number of acts

This play appeared in Pocci's first collection of Kasperl's plays, published in 1855 under the title Neues Kasperl-Theater. The six short plays it contains were certainly among those that Pocci performed for his children at the Ammerland house on the shores of Lake Starnberg. The author does not seem to have considered performing them outside this private circle, but he nevertheless allowed the puppeteer Josef Leonhard Schmid to bring them to the stage of his new puppet theatre, starting with Kasperl als Nachtwächter, which had its premiere on 2 January 1859 and became part of the repertoire. The play is not without similarities to the composition of the scenes in Punch and Judy as we know it from John Payne Collier's 1828 publication and undoubtedly borrows from the performances at the Munich fair, of which Pocci is known to have been a frequent spectator.

Plot summary

Nightly meetings

Kasperl returns drunk from the tavern and his wife Grethl refuses to let him in. He meets the night watchman, whom he frightens by pretending to be a ghost. He picks up the halberd and the lantern that the watchman dropped in his flight. That night, the moon is off duty and wanders through the streets. Kasperl apprehends it for wandering at night: as the moon refuses to comply, he strikes it in the face with his halberd, which destroys it. He then meets death and beats it with a stick. Finally the rooster crows. Kasperl is annoyed that the rooster can't say anything except "cock-a-doodle-doo" and kills it, then brings it back to Grethl for a meal: when she sees the poultry, she lets him come inside.

Composition date

First performance

Munich, Germany, 2 janvier 1859 -

Münchner Marionettentheater

Publications and translations


Franz Pocci: Neues Kasperl-Theater, Stuttgart, Gebrüder Scheitlin, 1855

Modern edition

Franz von Pocci: Neues Kasperl-Theater, edition Monacensia, München, Allitera Verlag, 2009

Literary tones
Fantasy, Burlesque
Animations techniques
String marionette
Young audiences
Public domain


Theatrical techniques


Written by

Jean Boutan