William Tell will be aiming at tourists again this summer in the Bernese Oberland resort of Interlaken.
The open air play, William Tell, as performed in Interlaken is back for another season. Opening night is June 20, and performances (in German only) will be held once or twice a week throughout the summer (see link below for more details).
Based on the Friedrich Schiller play, it calls for a cast of nearly 200 to portray the Swiss peasants and Habsburg tyrants of the 13th century.
William Tell symbolises the spirit of the peasants who throw off the yoke of Habsburg rule. The climax of the play is of course Tell's shooting of an apple off his son's head.
The open-air stage and set make the spectacle worth seeing, even for a non-German speaking audience. The Austrian soldiers ride real horses across the stage, the Swiss herdsmen tend live cattle and a real forest serves as the backdrop.
Schiller wrote the play at the beginning of the 19th century, without ever having visited Switzerland. But it is thanks to the German writer that the Tell legend lives on.
Visitors to Switzerland interested in the story or legend of William Tell should also travel to central Switzerland where the story unfolded. A round-trip by boat around Lake Lucerne makes a stop at the "Tell Chapel" where, as legend would have it, Tell swam to safety after escaping his Habsburg captors.
And there is the "Tell Museum" in the village of Bürglen on the Klausen Pass which boasts the most comprehensive collection of historical documents and objects relating to William Tell.