Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Gallows humor

You'd think they'd be somewhat self-conscious about this;
The guillotine is his daily stock and trade. Hangman Ringo works in a little theater on the Oktoberfest and has over the past 30 years "executed" some 15,000 guests at the world's largest beer fest.
No, not the mis-translation of guillotineer into hangman. The delight in watching a mock execution might play into some stereotypes, Nein?
For the audience - today just as back in the 19th century - it's about experiencing something sensational when they watch a mock execution. Ringo always throws in a bit or humor when he talks about his job.
After the performance there's always immediate feedback - and it's usually positive, says Manfred Schauer, head of the show. "The way the audience reacts tells you that they still enjoy the show although it's been running for 144 years." Schauer took over the business side of the show in 1985. He's also the announcer ahead of performance trying to get people to come in and watch. Since 2007, there's also been a place to eat and drink alongside the little theater.

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