Slovensko narodno gledališče Nova Gorica
Jernej Čampelj, Jure Kopušar, Nataša Keser; photo SNG Nova Gorica/Peter Uhan

Ödön von Horváth

Tales from the Vienna Woods

Geschichten aus dem Wiener Wald, 1931

A bitter folk play

on programme

This performance doesn't have any called terms at the moment.

duration 2 hours and 40 minutes and has one interval


19. September 2019, SNG Nova Gorica

about text

The centre of this modernised folk play is the story of Marianne. Upon her engagement with the simple butcher Oskar, who has been her “intended” since childhood, the naïve girl is seduced by the suburban gigolo Alfred. Along with Marianne, an entire gallery of petty bourgeois philistines appears. They all consider clichés to be the ultimate truths, they all want “more”, but above all, they’d like to climb the social ladder.

On the surface, the story is indeed a romance, but it is really a bitter satire in which stupidity and crude instincts rule. The title comes from Strauss’s famous waltz, which expresses carelessness and lightness, but Ödön von Horváth wrote a darker image of the “golden” Austria and the ideology of the beautiful Viennese life. He did not glorify the fates of little people, but rather mercilessly revealed their often-low ethical standards. The play evolves like a film script, in many different settings – from a swimming complex on the Danube to a brothel – which was a great novelty in the time when it was written.

Ödön von Horváth, an Austro-Hungarian writer, drew inspiration from the traditional Viennese model of a folk play, but he daringly reworked the motif elements – he transformed the familiar into the chilling, apparent ease into brutality, sentimentality into bestiality ... Because he “wanted to describe the world as it unfortunately is”, his works draw a sharp image of social and economic phenomena that endanger the masses; his seemingly simple plays are really an aesthetic, critical treatment of the occurrences during a time of crisis. His works were undesirable in Germany and Austria under Nazism, but after the war, particularly in the late 1960s, they went through a proper renaissance and achieved international acclaim. A number of his plays were made into films, including Tales from the Vienna Woods. Several of his works have been staged in Slovenia, among them Judgement Day (1997) in Nova Gorica. This fourth Slovenian staging of Tales from the Vienna Woods will be directed by Primož Ekart, who first worked in the SNG Nova Gorica as a director on Schimelpfennig’s play Peggy Pickit Sees the Face of God.

The production includes quotations from Elias Canetti's Masse und Macht, traslated by Mojca Kranjc (Beletrina, 2004)

View complete schedule for the show

  • 19. 09. 2019 at 20.00. SNG Nova Gorica
  • 20. 09. 2019 at 20.00. SNG Nova Gorica
  • 21. 09. 2019 at 20.00. SNG Nova Gorica
  • 25. 09. 2019 at 20.00. SNG Nova Gorica
  • 26. 09. 2019 at 20.00. SNG Nova Gorica
  • 27. 09. 2019 at 20.00. SNG Nova Gorica