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Eric Lomas: Theatre in Two Worlds

Eric Lomas: Theatre in Two Worlds

Actor-Director Eric Lomas is something of a phenomenon even in a theatre-obsessed town like Vienna. Born in Styria to an Austrian father and English mother, he left for England at 16 to train with the Westcountry Theatre Company, in Torquay; at 19 he launched a youth theatre called Frontal Theatre in his home town of […]

Subversive Conventionality: Vienna Undervalues its Small Stages

At the end of June, after 38 years of exits and entrances, the curtain at the International Theatre on Porzellangasse will fall for the last time. It’s not known what will happen to the building: It’s possible that another theatre company will take over where the International has left off. It’s possible, but it’s not […]

Relatively Speaking, by Alan Ayckbourn

Relatively Speaking, by Alan Ayckbourn

Relatively Speaking, by “the British Neil Simon”, is a slow motion farce that might have been subtitled “Who are you sleeping with, and exactly who are you anyway?” The play was first produced in 1967, when Ayckbourn was still in his twenties, and although it was his first big hit, it reveals his inexperience in […]

Mark Twain’s America

Mark Twain’s America

“Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” So said Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen-name of Mark Twain, to a bemused reporter a hundred and something years ago. Twain made sure he wouldn’t die when he died: Apart from the immortality of his characters, a thing no writer can be sure of, […]

The Ghost of a Chance

The Ghost of a Chance

When An Inspector Calls premiered in Moscow in 1945, it must have seemed to its Russian audience like an English version of Chekhov, with its feckless upper classes refusing to face facts as their own doom approached. Set in 1912, J.B. Priestley’s most famous work was a morality play of ancien regime exploitation on the […]

The Domestic Libertine

The International Theatre’s modern restaging of the classic Neil Simon comedy Last of the Red Hot Lovers is a valiant – and enjoyable – effort that generally succeeds,  although it is hampered by an outdated script that struggles in some ways to be relevant. Jack Babb plays Barney Cashman, a 47-year-old seafood restaurant owner who […]

Texas in Vienna

Arriving at the International Theatre of Vienna on a Tuesday evening, I am greeted by soft golden light, the warm tones of polished wood furnishings, and a kind face at the ticket booth. There is a quiet intimacy, a calmness and confidence in the air. I am reminded of a speakeasy, some private and classy […]

Big Brother Revisited

Walking to the International Theatre, slightly ill, constantly coughing and clutching to my coat, I couldn’t remember the last time I felt decent. The past week has worn me out and nothing seemed to offer poise. It dawned on me that my emotional state would fit right into 1984, George Orwell’s dystopic vision of Oceania, […]

Where Tragedies Meet Hilarity

The stage at the International Theatre is empty as we enter, with only a lion-clawed armchair and a fat copy of The Illustrated Stratford Shakespeare leaning upright against the back. Here’s the problem, to do on stage what this bulky book manages between its embossed covers: to bundle all of Shakespeare’s pieces into one event. […]

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