It's almost forty years since Dieter Hildebrandt and Gerhard Polt blew the march of Munich's chic crowd with a cabaret number revue.

"Munich shines" brought the Kammerspiele a huge success.

This was followed by "Die Exoten", across the street at the Bayerisches Staatsschauspiel, with Hanns Christian Müller.

Then with the Biermösl Blosn “Tschurangrati” (1993), “Obatzt Is” (2005), “Offener Vollzug” (2006) and “Ekzem Homo” (2015).

Polt is now back on the stage at the Kammerspiele with the Well brothers (part of the former Biermösl Blosn), and the audience, mostly older students, seems to be gripped by feverish anticipation of a family reunion.

Hannes Hintermeier

Feuilleton correspondent for Bavaria and Austria.

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Eighty-year-old Polt and the Wells are in the usual mood to play, their fans know the songs – including from the CD “A scheene Leich” – and some sing along quietly.

The "scheene corpse" is the South German paraphrase for a successful funeral, at which afterwards people laugh, cry, play music, eat, drink and sometimes even fight to shake off the horror of death for a few hours.

It goes without saying that a piece about a care scandal can not only produce thigh slaps.

Our society's handling of death is pathetic at best.

Just like in real life.

The starting point for Polt and his director Ruedi Häusermann is a crime in a retirement home in Schliersee that was uncovered by journalists two years ago.

The authorities had looked the other way, it was too late for some of the neglected and malnourished residents of a “retirement home”, deaths of the most macabre kind. The direttissima from home to grave as a business model.

Polt lives around the corner.

The devotional yodel as a leitmotif

Now he plays the undertaker Pius Brenner, founder of Pietas Ruhe GmbH, and with a bald head and a waxy complexion, he remembers the actual visits made by six-year-old Gerhard Polt to the morgue in Altötting, where he looked at the bodies laid out.

"The mouth wide open, in absolute tranquillity" a green flesh fly flies into the oral cavity of a corpse - "bzzzzz", an unforgettable experience that has mapped out Brenner's life as a necro-economist and old-age manager.

"Carpe diem, dear Leit, the last beer is already ready" - the Well brothers, as experienced multi-instrumentalists and singers, ensure that the music is rooted in tradition.

They grew up as "utility musicians," playing at every funeral in the village as children.

Karli, Michael and Stofferl, the twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth of fifteen children in the Well family of teachers, draw on a repertoire that has grown over decades.

The devotional yodel appears as a musical leitmotif in all possible versions.

A twelve-piece amateur choir rehearses for Brenner's funeral, but it doesn't go so well.

The choir is also used as a brass band and as a backdrop mover, and it plays the workforce of Pietas Ruhe GmbH, in gray overalls.

The “Chair Slide” number is very funny, the sound of the chairs being pushed across the stage grows into a Tibetan Om hum.

An in-house training course with an urn display board, which Polt manages as Brenner's successor and disciplinarian of the next generation, culminates in the award of the "Silver Coffin Nail in Bronze" to an employee who sold a marble coffin worth more than seventy thousand euros to Liechtenstein.