Ödön von Horváth
A knockabout dark comedy verging on horror. In this story nobody can be certain who is going to step out of the next door: one’s fatal love or an equally ‘fatal’ robber and murderer. Moreover, nobody can imagine how deadly a long steep staircase can become!
Theatre dramaturges usually tend to expect new plays by Martin McDonagh, Tracy Letts, Roland Schimmelpfennig, Marius von Mayenburga… But certainly none of them expected to see the appearance of a new play by Ödön von Horváth – a consummate Central-European author who died in an accident more than 80 years ago! Yet this is exactly what happened. In 2015, a manuscript of Horváth’s early play from 1924 was discovered in Vienna. Despite the fact (or perhaps exactly because of it?) that it concerns one of the author’s early works, it contains all his later obsessive themes in the bud. We observe a whirlwind of unique yet interchangeable figures who remind us all the time of someone we might know. The stage is set in an apartment building which could be seen as a metaphor for the world, “ruled” by the lame landlord and money lender from the attic. The story line gets complicated, and a disturbing chorus clamours throughout the play: “Who’s to blame? Nobody!”
The play, which we are eager to rank among the “hot news” of the moment, will be rehearsed by our cast directed by Aminata Keita. Given her debut in professional theatre, she surely promises good understanding of Horváth’s earliest stage drama. This presentation will be the first in the Czech Republic; the world premiere, directed by Dušan D. Pařízek, already took place in the Vienna Theater in der Josefstadt in 2016.
Czech premiere: 20th November 2020 at the Reduta Theatre