“Three ???” at Lanxess Arena: How old can you be at 16?

The gruff leader of the three detectives wants to know if they are too young to spend the night in a haunted house. The second detective, Peter Shaw, grabs greedily for this lifeline: “Yeah, we’re 15.” With the confession, he also seems to squeeze the fear out of his body. But the relief comes too soon. “We’re 16,” continues research and archive staff Bob Andrews. Then he sighs: “It’s been 43 years.” The first detective, Justas Jonas, nods worriedly. And the 14,000 spectators in the Lanxess Arena are laughing out loud.

It’s not just the presenters of Germany’s most popular radio series “Three???” who have extended their puberty by decades. We remain no less stuck in development deadlock than Oliver Rohrbeck, Jens Wawrczeck and Andreas Fröhlich, at least some of us. The one who goes to bed at night with one of the now 219 episodes in his headphones and dreams of the days when you still believed that life could be controlled if you just hit on the right cues.

Obviously, this is just a beautiful illusion. Which you can enjoy all the more when three amateur investigators from the junkyard, sorry: second-hand mall, Rocky Beach, have been speaking in the same voices since 1979. So why deprive yourself of this little self-delusion and watch three fifties dressed in black suits play a radio show?

“Three ??? and Dark Taipan” works like a magic trick

Because it still works. That’s the simple answer after leaving the arena just before 11 p.m., full of spirits (and not at all tired). Actually, and now it gets a little tricky, it works almost even better when the eye doesn’t believe what the ear hears. When the thin, bald Rohrbeck is insulted as “fatso” or touched by his imaginary hair. It’s like a magic trick that still works after being exposed.

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The case, which Andreas Fröhlich wrote especially for the stage based on the idea of ​​Hendrik Buchna, is certainly not one of the most difficult colleagues. Shouldn’t He: “Three??? and the Dark Taipan” is built on the effects that can be achieved when sound, image and the collective memories of people between the ages of 6 and 60 merge. magic mirror, from the annoying (for teenage boys) self-confident Allie Jamison (played by Andreas Fröhlich’s sister Katrin Fröhlich) to well-known villains who must not be spoiled at this time.

Justus is once again able to eliminate his opponent by combining foreign words, Bob gets hit in the head as often as possible, and Peter gets one of his hilarious panic attacks. The way Wawrczeck expertly transforms his facial features into new masks of fear in the creepy cemetery scene deserves criticism. Of course, there is no grave to be seen, the cemetery is created solely by Jörg Klinkenberg’s live soundscape with many props. The loudspeakers tease him with increasingly absurd descriptions, but the noise maker promptly delivers and 14,000 pairs of ears nodded if he could.

Michael Prelle brings a touch of irony to the grandfatherly narrator, and Matthias Keller manipulates his voice in multiple roles as artfully as his long body. And Tim Grobe is an equally terrifying villain as the whispering waitress in vegan Peru.

Sound technology transforms the arena into surround sound headphones, visual wow effects are balanced with small, self-deprecating gestures. “Three ???” is eternal childhood in a quote, life as a double exposure, like old school friends…

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