Synopsis: An evening in 1980. The 75-year-old Albert Speer has come to lecture in East Berlin's Academy of Arts. He revisits the large model hall of his own office in which he and Hitler met to plan Germania, the megalopolis of the Nazi Empire. Here Speer is confronted with his past in an unexpected way. Esther Vilar's tantalising drama strikes at the heart of one of the most ambiguous figures in the history of this century.
Speer premiered at London's Almeida Theatre in 1999, starring and directed by Klaus Maria Brandauer. The period leading up to the premiere is the subject of Martin Wagner's documentary Klaus Maria Brandauer: Speer in London.
Martin Wagner is a writer, film-maker and publisher living in London. His first short film Summer was shown at film festivals and on TV worldwide and won him the best director award at the Birmingham Film Festival. His first novel, Rachel's Machine, was published by Pinter & Martin in the UK and by Mondadori in Italy. He translated the play Speer, which was performed and directed by Klaus Maria Brandauer at London's Almeida Theatre. His documentary Klaus Maria Brandauer: Speer in London is about the period leading up to the premiere and has been shown on British TV channel Artsworld. In 2003 he published the acclaimed The Little Driver, which is used in Spain to educate children about traffic issues, followed in 2005 by The Little Politician. His play The Agent premiered at London's Old Red Lion Theatre in March 2007 and was transferred to the West End's Trafalgar Studios. The play had its German-language premiere in October 2008 at the Torturmtheater in Sommerhausen. His film adaptation of The Agent, starring William Beck, Stephen Kennedy and Maureen Lipman, and directed by Lesley Manning, premiered at the Dinard Film Festival and was released in cinemas in 2009. His novel Deutschland was published in September 2013.