Old Wicked Songs

by Jon Marans
Goodwood Theatre 166a Goodwood Road, Goodwood
July 27, 28, August 2, 3, 4 @ 7.30, Matinees Sunday 29 @ 4.00; Saturday August 4 @ 2.00, Early Tuesday July 31, Wednesday August 1 @ 6.30

Vienna. 1986.

Kurt Waldheim is running for the chancellorship of Austria, despite his Nazi past.

Hoping to shatter the artistic block that has crippled his brilliant career, Stephen Hoffman, a young American piano prodigy, has come to study in Vienna. He is assigned to an elderly vocal teacher, Professor Josef Mashkan, who – to Stephen’s disgust – insists on teaching him, not the piano, but how to sing Schumann’s “Dichterliebe” song cycle about the birth and death of love.

It seems impossible that the two will ever get along: one is European, one American; one old-fashioned, the other modern; one passionate, the other technically precise; and, finally, one a seeming anti-Semite, and the other a Jew. As they struggle to work together, Stephen discovers that Mashkan is masking a darker history, and would die rather than confront it. Eventually, only the music – their one common bond – with its combination of suffering and joy, helps release the teacher’s emotions and melt the student’s frigidity.

Independent Theatre is privileged to re-mount this haunting play, with its unique mix of drama and vocal music. A great friend of Independent Theatre, playwright Jon Marans will again travel to Adelaide to assist with rehearsals, and speak to Patrons and Subscribers.