How We Met

DaleCast are a group of German-born writers who have found themselves living in the heart of the North Pennines.

Brought together through happenstance, as well as a shared love for Travel & the Arts; this group of passionate writers spend their spare time touring England – watching live music, theatre and constantly reading.

It all began with a chance meeting in 2016, at a performance of Dr. Faustus at the Georgian Theatre Royal, in Richmond.

georgianThe German classic, performed in English, had drawn in a sold out crowd for it’s 3-day run at the Georgian. Within the full capacity audience of 220, were the 5 German-born writers who were to become the driving force behind DaleCast.

The Faust Legend – a Germanic myth that was later famously adapted into a play by 16th Century playwright Christopher Marlowe – is a story that every German child grows up with. A tale of seduction and power, the play is considered a must-watch by most German nationals and has haunting connotations for most, when they consider their country’s modern history.

Far from his native land of Gottingen, Benedict Madelung had bought two tickets to see the opening night of the touring production with a colleague – but had been let down at the last minute. Waiting patiently outside of the theatre he answered the call, in his native tongue, attracting the attention of Magda Elssler who was quickly stepping outside to smoke a cigarette.

faustHearing the guttural sounds of her mother tongue, Magda, accidentally eavesdropping on the conversation, recognised that she was not the only German-national engaging on a nostalgia trip that night.

Following Benedict inside, she struck up a conversation at the bar. Sitting together in the auditorium, letting the familiar story that bonds all German people wash over them in English (the language of the new country they had adopted) – a friendship was formed that would be the beginnings of Dalecast.

Excitedly conversing about the adaptation during the intermission, they were overheard by Valentin Kohlberg, a supply teacher in the midst of ushering a group of students back into the auditorium. After escorting his young charges to their seats, he dove back out to find his fellow countrymen and exchanged details with them.

The show was resuming as Valentin headed back into the theatre – the lights descended and he had to be ushered back into his seat by a young woman. Still reeling from his chance encounter with his, soon to be, fellow writers, his senses were assaulted another reminder of Germany.

faustExtrait Extra Fin was a perfume that Valentin’s Mother wore, but only on special occasions, during the 70s. Created by the, now-defunct, German company A. H. A. Bergmann, he had not smelled it in decades.

“Sind sie aus Deutschland?” He asked, that night in February.

“Ja.” She replied and so another connection was forged.

Valentin passed on his on business card to Flora (an usher that night, but a florist by trade – covering for a sick friend), still reeling from the slew of Germans he’d just been introduced to, he shuffled back to his seat – brushing Torsten Stuhr’s jacket off his knee as he passed.

“Entshuldigung.”

“Mach dir keine Sorgen,” was the reply.