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Tales from the Vienna Woods

Ödön von Horváth
Translated by David Harrower

Tales from the Vienna Woods by Odon von Horvath is here re-imagined by David Harrower, in an energetic and hugely entertaining epic – set against the backdrop of the Vienna Woods – of a society haunted by inflation and reeling towards Fascism.

Date Published
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‘Don’t spoil her, Oskar, or you’ll pay dear for it. You wouldn’t believe what I had to put up with in my marriage. Not because madam, my wife, God bless her, was a vicious-tongued cow, but because I was too decent. Never lose your authority! Keep your distance! Patriarchy, not matriarchy! Keep your head up and your thumbs pressed firmly down. Ave Caesar; morituri te salutant!’

Set against the sentimental backdrop of the Vienna Woods and to the distant tune of a Strauss waltz, a community steeped in bigotry concerns itself with love affairs, petty squabbles, jealousies and personal tragedy. Meanwhile society at large, haunted by inflation, goes reeling towards Fascism.

This energetic, hugely entertaining epic premièred in Berlin in 1931 as Nazi forces were gaining in strength.

Tales from the Vienna Woods, in this new version, was premièred at the National Theatre on the Olivier stage in October 2003.

Odonvon Horvath

Ödön von Horváth (1901-1938) was born in Fiume, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, of an aristocratic Hungarian-speaking family. His plays include: Italienische Nacht (Italian Night) 1931, Geschichten aus dem Wiener Wald (Tales from the Vienna Woods) 1931, Kasimir und Karoline (Casimir and Caroline) 1932, Figaro Lässt sich Schieden (Figaro Gets a Divorce) 1937, Don Juan Kommt aus dem Krieg…

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Odonvon Horvath