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The Theatre Programme 2014 Reflected World War I

1 SEP 2014

published in: Drama, General

Die letzten Tage der Menschheit, Photo: Georg Soulek
One hundred years after the outbreak of World War I, commemoration was indicated by the history of the Festival’s founding itself. In 1917, Max Reinhardt wrote in his founding manifesto: “Art, especially theatrical art, has not only held its own during the ravages of this war, but it has proven that its existence and maintenance are among the most indispensable necessities.” Sven-Eric Bechtolf’s drama programme was devoted almost entirely to the outbreak of the First World War, 100 years ago. The new production of Karl Kraus’ Die letzten Tage der Menschheit, the world premiere of The Forbidden Zone by Duncan Macmillan and Katie Mitchell, as well as Ödön von Hórvath’s Don Juan kommt aus dem Krieg at the Perner-Insel in Hallein reflected the original catastrophe and its consequences. The exploration of the war theme was also reflected by the programme of the Young Directors Project: Hinkemann, Orpheus, Der Abschied (a world premiere by Walter Kappacher and winner of the YDP Award in 2014) and the multi-part project 36566 Tage, a co-production with the Mozarteum University Salzburg, were international contributions from young creators of theatre to the Salzburg Festival.

The Jedermann production by Julian Crouch and Brian Mertes enchanted audiences for the second year in a row.

Suzanne Andrade and Paul Barritt’s Golem provided a strong and highly acclaimed final accent for the drama programme.

One hundred years after the deadly shots of Sarajevo plunged Europe into the abyss, the Australian historian Christopher M. Clark delivered a passionate plea for the European Union during his Festival Keynote Address: “The European Union is an act of transnational political will which ranks among the greatest achievements in the history of mankind.” Clark added that the catastrophe of the year 1914 is an admonition of the terrible consequences that can befall when politics fail, conversations fall silent and compromise is no longer possible.