An Austrian writer’s little-known 20-page draft has been turned into an enthralling play in Vienna.
The capital’s Akademietheater now stages “Der Henker” by Maria Lazar which premiered 99 years ago. Neglected and nearly forgotten, this production might put Lazar’s oeuvre into the spotlight once again.
Born in 1895, Lazar worked for Viennese daily Arbeiter-Zeitung but also Querschnitt, a Berlin newspaper. She wrote eight novels and three plays. When the political environment in Austria became increasingly oppressive in 1933, Lazar left Austria to settle in Denmark. Six years later she moved to Sweden. From 1946, the author spent one year in London. Having been diagnosed with an incurable disease, Lazar committed suicide in 1948.
Itay Tiran and Sarah Viktoria Frick take the leading roles in the play directed by Mateja Koleznik. Tiran – who joined the Burgtheater cast at the beginning of this season – plays a man sentenced to death. Critics have praised the cast’s performances but also praised the minimalistic set.
“Der Henker” is a play that touches essential human emotions like love and hate, desperation and hope. The next performances is scheduled for tomorrow 8pm.
Meanwhile, Klaus Maria Brandauer continues to pay tribute to the body of work of Eric Vuillard. After reading extracts of “L’ordre du jour” a few weeks ago, the award-winning movie and theatre star presents “14 juillet” on the 5th of February. While “L’ordre du jour” is an intense description of the atmosphere in Europe before the Third Reich annexed Austria, “14 juillet” takes readers to Paris in 1789.
Photo: © Matthias Horn