a classic comedy of intrigue
‘Once upon a time, the Creator wanted to create a play and he put together a piece called “Love”. It was a runaway hit - crowds at the box office, sold-out hall. Enchanted by His success, the Creator wrote part two – “Marriage”. And as it often happens with sequels – failure struck.’
If Central Europe has a classic comedy writer, it is undoubtedly Johann Nepomuk Nestroy. This is primarily due to the qualities of his comic works, which are filled with extraordinary theatrics and inventive plot twists, and feature the skilful interweaving of hilarious errors and misunderstandings along with unusually fine dialogues containing Nestroy´s renowned bons mots (“It is lucky that I can drown my sadness in wine, otherwise I might get addicted to booze!”)
The protagonists of Nestroy´s comedy are two travelling actors, Artur and Picl. The first of these gets involved in a series of romantic escapades which force him to resort to various disguises and intrigues while the other makes ironic comments on everything. The basic paradox of this comedy is the fact that nothing actually stands in the way of the central pair of lovers. Artur is in love with a lady named Ema Bušová but is totally unaware that Ema is the foster daughter of his uncle, the factory owner Mr Truchlant. And Mr Truchlant decides that he wants Ema to get married – to Artur. However, Artur assumes wrongly that Truchlant wants to marry Ema himself, and starts planning her abduction…
Nestroy was a master of the principles of comedy of intrigue and manages to link them here with the specific poetry of the lives of travelling actors while at the same time maintaining a detached perspective that’s both kind and amused. Those who enjoy clever entertainment in the nostalgic Austro-Hungarian style certainly have something to look forward to. The production will be directed by Mikoláš Tyc.