Theater: Maggots

TALES FROM THE VIENNA WOODS by Ödön von Horváth

High above the stage is a cupola-shaped structure outlined with electric bulbs, as if for a summer festival. In it, a string quartet plays beguiling Viennese waltzes. Directly beneath it, on the stage proper, is a butcher shop openly displaying huge gory carcasses hung from steel hooks. The images form a contrapuntal irony. This is a subcutaneous play in which maggots infest the corrupt body of a seemingly sound and smugly self-satisfied society. The true atmosphere of the play is the stench of impending Nazism.

The playwright, Ödön von Horváth, had good reasons to...

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