Kingdoomed

The Burgtheater is leaving its rivals coughing on fumes with a brilliant “Don Karlos”.1.jpg

The theatre’s new director Martin Kusej had already staged the Friedrich Schiller play from 1787 at Munich’s Residenztheater. Creating a vile and hostile atmosphere, his four-and-a-half-hour Viennese version is pulling no punches. The Viennese “Don Karlos” has earned favourable reviews. It also received wide approval from audiences.

Schiller’s masterpiece portrays a bitter conflict between father and son and heinous political power games in in 16th century Spain. Thomas Loibl and Nils Strunk take lead roles in this compelling production.

“Don Karlos” will be performed tonight and on the 5th and 9th of December. For additional information on the prestigious theatre’s current repertoire, visit http://www.burgtheater.at

Photo: © Matthias Horn

Pure perfection

Breathtaking landscapes, sumptuous still lifes and intimate portraits – the oeuvre of Pierre Bonnard is nothing short of fascinating. Now there is a chance to discover the ingenious painter’s achievements in Austria.bonnard.jpg

Vienna’s Bank Austria Kunstforum has dedicated a special exhibit to the artist who passed away in 1947. Bonnard’s brilliant Mediterranean town views and landscapes will let you yearn for a break in in the south. But “Die Farbe der Erinnerung” (The Colour of Memory) is teeming with surprises – early photographic experiments, preparatory sketches and a self-portrait conveying pure fragility are on display too.

Bonnard’s mind was a bottomless well of creativity, as this exhibition confirms. Building on loans from all over Europe and overseas, “Die Farbe der Erinnerung” will leave a long-lasting impression on each visitor.

German publishing house Hirmer’s excellent catalogue provides additional insights into the work and life of this outstanding artist.

>> http://www.bankaustria-kunstforum.at

Pierre Bonnard. Die Farbe der Erinnerung
By Matthew Gale
Published by Hirmer (www.hirmerverlag.de)

Crisis-ridden theatre fights on

The Volkstheater board is in the firing line as the institution’s budget difficulties are intensifying. Its repertoire nevertheless holds some true gems.

It seems as if the state-funded theatre is going from bad to worse as far as its finances are concerned. Between 2015 and 2018, its plays had an attendance rate of just 56 per cent, including a considerable high number of free tickets. Nevertheless substantial sums will be invested in its infrastructure. Performances will take place at the adjacent Museumsquartier as of January to renovate the prestigious institution.1.jpg

Volkstheater directors have never had a particularly experimental approach. But through the past decades, its bill has included not just solid performances of classic plays but also some spellbinding if not game-changing projects.

“Rojava”, a play on the dream of a functioning democracy in a war-ridden region, has stunned audiences earlier this year. Calle Fuhr’s adaption of “Die Leiden des jungen Werther” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe has not disappointed either.

A New Year’s Eve performance of Max Frisch’s “The Arsonists” (Biedermann und die Brandstifter) is certain to be one of the cultural highlights of the final few weeks of the year.

Visit http://www.volkstheater.at for a detailed bill and information on tickets.

Photo: © Volkstheater / Instagram

Shall We Dance?

Andrea Eckert and Markus Meyer complement each other brilliantly in an Akademietheater play featuring fantastic music.1

“Sechs Tanzstunden in sechs Wochen” by American playwright Richard Alfieri portrays Lily, an ageing widow. Feeling lonesome, she decides to book dance lessons. Her teacher Michael helps her to crush the persistent bouts of self-doubt. As her health deteriorates, Michael stays by her side.

“Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks” is a life-affirming play about friendship and compassion. Director Martina Gredler and set designer Sophie Lux have created a wonderful German adaption. Eckert and Meyer never disappoint while the band spread boundless joy. Spellbound audiences are guaranteed in Vienna on 14th, 27th and 31st of December.

>> http://www.burgtheater.at

Photo: © Reinhard Werner

The roof is on fire

Günter Franzmeier and Thomas Frank are putting in smashing performances in what is regarded as perhaps the finest part of the current Volkstheater bill.1.jpg

Hungarian director Viktor Bodo has freshened up Max Frisch’s “Biedermann und die Brandstifter” (The Arsonists) from 1958 with hilarious interludes including a slow-motion basketball clash and pop karaoke.

The final performances of “The Arsonists” are scheduled for 23rd and 31st December.

>> http://www.volkstheater.at

Photo: © http://www.lupispuma.com / Volkstheater

Bundesliga’s back with Rapid vs. Sturm

Sturm Graz are at risk of not making it into the championship playoff. Now they face an improved Rapid.sturm.JPG

After having won just two of their last five matches, Sturm find themselves in fifth place. The first six clubs of the 12-team Bundesliga will fight for the title in spring.

The three-time Bundesliga champions are up against Rapid at Vienna’s Allianz Stadion on Sunday (5pm). The Dietmar Kühbauer side want to build on their superb 3-0 away win at Altach and a successful friendly encounter with second-division outfit Blau-Weiß Linz during the international break (2-1).

At fourth-placed Rapid, the comeback of Srdjan Grahovac has certainly applied some pressure to Dejan Ljubicic’s starting-eleven spot.

The most recent clash between Sturm and Rapid dates back to mid-August when Rapid celebrated a narrow but deserved 1-0 victory in Graz.

>> http://www.skrapid.at

Between trust and treason

An enthralling play with a superb twist in the plot will be staged at an intimate venue in Vienna tonight.

“Protest” by late Czech author and statesman Vaclav Havel is scheduled for 8pm at Volx/Margareten (Margaretenstraße 166, http://www.volkstheater.at).1.jpg

The play is about the courage to take action against repressive authorities who lock up disobedient citizens. Havel was a shrewd observer of sociological developments. Having been imprisoned several times, he suffered immensely under the autocratic Czechoslovakian regime.

Simon Scharinger plays Ferdinand Vanek, a writer who just got out from jail. Expecting support, he informs his mate Jan Stanek (Philip Leonhard Kelz) about a petition aiming at the release of Stanek’s son-in-law.

Photo: © Andrea Klem

The Village

A young woman flees the city after being hit by the news of her parents’ death.

Determined to find out more about their childhood, she has difficulties finding the town where they grew up. But her perseverance eventually pays off and she discovers a remote village governed by a countess.1.jpg

After a phase of frustration and bewilderment as Groß-Einland lacks cash machines, internet access and supermarkets, the physicist considers settling down there.

Raphaela Edelbauer’s “Das flüssige Land” is a compelling page-turner. This highly unusual concoction of mystery and comedy was on the shortlist of this year’s German Book Prize.

Das flüssige Land
By Raphaela Edelbauer
Published by Klett-Cotta (www.klett-cotta.de)