The life of mobility pioneer Bertha Benz now in a live radio play

From 3 to 5 May 2019, the live radio play “My dream is longer than the night”, which recounts the life of mobility pioneer Bertha Benz, is showing at the Casino in the Mercedes-Benz Museum.

Bertha Benz was born on 3 May 1849 in Pforzheim as Bertha Ringer. At the age of 23, she marries Carl Benz and soon becomes a crucial supporter of his professional activities. After the invention of the automobile in 1886, Bertha realises that this groundbreaking innovation lacks, among other things, a good public relations approach. Initially, people are sceptical about the new means of transport.

In August 1888, Bertha Benz resolves to drive from Mannheim to Pforzheim with the later development of the patent motorcar, the Model 3. In doing so, she demonstrates how reliable and simple the operation of the vehicle is and that it can cover a considerable distance. This trip brings Bertha Benz worldwide fame. She dies on 5 May 1944, two days after her 95th birthday. The life of the mobility pioneer is one of the great stories of our day.

Performance at the Studio Theatre Stuttgart, June 2018. Photo Credit Stephan Haase.

This is a powerful story, on a minimalist set, with imaginatively generated sound effects and a powerful oration that blends elements of theatre, reading and traditional radio drama to create an exciting stage performance.

The piece takes the members of the audience back to the late 19th century and involves them in the fascinating life story of mobility pioneer Bertha Benz. Children aged eight and above are invited to participate in the two interactive family shows: they will be able to assist the actors from their seats in the auditorium by producing background noises such as steam hissing and the wind blowing.

This live radio play event takes place four times from 3 to 5 May 2019 in the Casino on the top floor of the Mercedes-Benz Museum. The performances mark the occasions of the 170th birthday (3 May 2019) and the 75th anniversary of the death (5 May 2019) of Bertha Benz.

Stuttgart director and author Günter Maurer has produced this fascinating performance on the basis of the book “My dream is longer than the night. How Bertha Benz powered her husband to world fame” by Angela Elis (published in 2010 by Hoffmann und Campe).

The two family shows are scheduled for 4 May at 2 pm and 5 May at 11 am. After each show, there is an opportunity to admire an authentic replica of the Benz patent motorcar in operation outside the Mercedes-Benz Museum. Individual rides can be arranged.

The inventor and his creation: Carl Benz (in front) at the wheel of his patent motor car model III, together with Friedrich von Fischer, equally a member of the Board of Management of Benz & Cie. Photo credit Daimler AG.

During the two evening performances on 3 May and 4 May at 7.30 pm, the world’s first motorcar will also be playing a role: during the intermission, guests at the live radio play will be able to visit the area called Mythos 1 in the permanent exhibition and see the patent motorcar and Gottlieb Daimler’s motor carriage.

Tickets for the live radio play cost 14 euros for adults (reduced 7 euros) and admission is free for children up to and including the age of 14. All the tickets for the live audio play also entitle the holder to visit the Mercedes-Benz Museum on the same day, which is open until 7.30 pm. The tickets are on sale now from

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