First
programme
highlights

Theatre, opera, music, dance and the visual arts: from 12 May to 21 June Vienna’s biggest arts festival will once again be bringing international guest performances and new in-house productions to numerous stage venues throughout the city. Today we reveal the first of the highlights. Murder mysteries and children’s book classics play just as much a role as femmes fatales, musical all-round geniuses and Nobel Prize winners. The full festival programme for 2023 is to be published on 2 March. Tickets go on sale online and by phone from 6 March.

Susanne Kennedy, Markus Selg
ANGELA (a strange loop)
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Susanne Kennedy, Markus Selg
ANGELA (a strange loop)

Angela is getting along with her everyday life – until an unspecified illness strikes that alters her view of the world. Constraint, isolation, unequal treatment – what does it mean to be alive? Director Susanne Kennedy’s new production reflects on the pandemic situation in general and the vulnerability of the female body in particular. Alongside Angela’s character, the stage space by visual artist Markus Selg represents a second, virtual protagonist. After Einstein on the Beach (at the Wiener Festwochen in 2022), Kennedy and Selg continue their search for alternative forms of being together.

Venue: Halle G im MuseumsQuartier

Simon McBurney / Complicité
Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead
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Simon McBurney / Complicité
Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead
After Gesang der Fledermäuse by Olga Tokarczuk

In a remote residential estate of summer cottages, men are dying under mysterious circumstances in the middle of winter. Polish author Olga Tokarczuk, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, published the feminist crime novel Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead back in 2009. Together with a ten-member ensemble, British theatre maker Simon
McBurney takes up the novel’s themes and adapts the material for the
stage. Given the backdrop of current social debates about climate activism and eco-terrorism, it is a work of unsettling explosiveness. Indeed, the question is not how far we ought to go in our bid for an empathetic relationship with nature, but how far we must go.

Venue: Theater Akzent

Teaser


Press reviews

Mud, murder and homemade schnapps: eco-thriller Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead roars back (The Guardian)

Hunter is masterful in the role – delivering Joycian cadences in her deliciously gravelly timbre, she’s a thrilling presence. It’s also worth saying that it is an all too rare and unmitigated pleasure to see a woman in her mid 60s taking centre stage. (B24/7)

Complicité productions are renowned for their virtuoso creative collaboration, and the staging is nothing short of sensational here. (B24/7)

Mariano Pensotti / Grupo Marea
La Obra
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Mariano Pensotti / Grupo Marea
La Obra

Argentinian artist Mariano Pensotti presents an evening of fictional documentary theatre entitled The Play that is as improbable as reality itself and as deeply nested as a Russian Matryoshka doll. The storyline: a theatre maker based in Europe stumbles in a newspaper article across the biography of Polish Jew Simon Frank. After fleeing Nazi Germany, Frank worked together with his village community in Argentina to recreate his former home as a backdrop. Year after year, with his village community he brings his own life story to the stage in the form of a play. Until one day he is arrested...

Venue: Jugendstiltheater am Steinhof

Marlene Monteiro Freitas, Alban Berg, Maxime Pascal, ORF Radio Symphonieorchester Wien
LULU
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Marlene Monteiro Freitas, Alban Berg, Maxime Pascal, ORF Radio Symphonieorchester Wien
LULU
Wu Tsang / Moved by the Motion
Pinocchio
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Wu Tsang / Moved by the Motion
Pinocchio

In 1881 Italian author Carlo Collodi created a character that has now become world-famous and named him Pinocchio, literally ‘Pine Eye’. In their new interpretation of the figure Pinocchio, director, film maker and performance artist Wu Tsang and her group Moved by the Motion explore what it means ‘to be a real human being’. On a shimmering mirrored surface and in front of a huge video wall, the actors transform into trees, puppets and surprising ‘beings betwixt’. Fantastical costumes, movement and music, poetry and animation combine to create a theatrical experience for children and adults alike.

Venue: Volkstheater

Teaser

Press reviews

Collodis Pinocchio wird hier radikal entstaubt, und was zum Vorschein kommt, ist eine fantastisch schillernde Diskursmaschine auf der Höhe unserer Zeit. (WOZ, 23.11.2022)

Hausregisseurin Wu Tsang und ihre Performance Gruppe Moved by the motion richten am Pfauen ein visuell und akustisch perfekt inszeniertes Spektakel an. (Radio SRF 2 Kultur, 14.11.2022)

Das Ganze fügt sich perfekt zu einem glitzernden Illusionstheater, das mit einfachen Mitteln große Wirkung erzielt und immer wieder Tänzer:innen wie Tosh Basco oder Josh Johnson spritzige Auftritte bietet. Auf der Bühne, in deren Boden sich die Animationen des Hintergrunds spiegeln, sind große Himmelsflüge genauso möglich wie Tauchgänge auf dem Meeresboden oder unvermutete Treffen im Walfischbauch. (nachtkritik, 13.11.2022)

Stan Douglas, George Lewis, Jeffery Renard Allen, Ensemble Modern
Song of the Shank
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Stan Douglas, George Lewis, Jeffery Renard Allen, Ensemble Modern
Song of the Shank

With Song of the Shank, renowned composer George Lewis and visual artist Stan Douglas presents a stage adaptation of Jeffery Renard Allen’s novel of the same name. Central protagonist is Thomas Wiggins, an African-American piano virtuoso and composer, who was born a slave in the American South in 1849 and later nicknamed ‘Blind Tom’. Wiggins began composing at the age of five and performed at the White House in 1860. George Lewis imagines in his composition for the Ensemble Modern how Blind Tom’s music might sound today while Stan Douglas opts for delicate visualisations. An evening all about music, identity and human rights.

Venue: Halle G im MuseumsQuartier

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