Can’t Get This Party Started

There is a sense of excitement in Vienna about the Burgtheater’s new progressive profile, but “The Party” is just a massive disappointment.

Theatregoers can expect a fresh spirit at the tradition-rich institution as new director Martin Kusej underlined the importance of peace and cooperation in a multilingual Europe. “There should be no borders onstage,” Kusej said, adding that being confronted with many languages in Vienna was “fascinating”.1.jpg

Itay Tiran’s take on “Vögel” and “Die Bakchen”, the play which kicked off the new season, earned praise by critics. Unfortunately, “The Party” is anything but a sparkling affair.

Based on a Sally Potter movie from 2017, this first-ever German stage adaption aims at offering psychological insight into the fragile relationship between a politician and her husband. While she is upbeat about getting promoted, her hubby remains totally indifferent. He could not care less what their friends think of his behaviour. Nevertheless all is going according to plan at their bash, until some confessions have to be made.

Anne Lenk’s “The Party” obviously draws inspiration from Yasmina Reza’s “God of Carnage”. But confronted with its vacuous dialogues, the play’s cast of Burgtheater icons like Regina Fritsch and Peter Simonischek appear like having given up already. This party tastes like stale champagne.


Photo: © Matthias Horn /

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