Ödön von Horváth
Tales from Hollywood
by Christopher Hampton
Olivier Theatre, 1 September 1983
Ödön von Horváth (b 1901) was one of
the most talented writers of his generation. He was killed on 1 June 1938, in a
freak accident on the Champs-Elysées, when a branch of the chestnut tree under
which he was sheltering fell on his head.
A colleague, Walter Mehring, who was staying in the same hotel in Paris, went
into Horváth's room. On his desk were two half-empty glasses of red wine and a
page of notes for the novel (Adieu Europa) Horváth was just starting to write.
The first line of the notes read:
"Ein Poet emigriert nach Amerika... "
- When Did You Last See My Mother? (Royal Court and Comedy) 1966, Total
Eclipse (Royal Court) 1968, The Philanthropist (Royal Court and Mayfair)
1970, Savages (Royal Court and Comedy) 1973, Treats (Royal Court and
Mayfair) 1976, Total Eclipse revised version (Lyric, Hammersmith) 1981, The
Portage To San Cristobal Of A.H. from the novel by George Steiner (Mermaid)
1982, Tales From Hollywood (Mark Taper Forum Theatre, Los Angeles) 1982
(National Theatre) 1983
- Babel, Marya (Royal Court) 1967 Chekhov, Uncle Vanya (Royal Court) 1970
Ibsen, Hedda Gabler (Festival Theatre, Stratford, Ontario) 1970 Ibsen, A
Doll’s House (Playhouse Theatre, NY and Criterion) 1971 Moličre, Don Juan
(Bristol Old Vic) 1972 Horváth, Tales From The Vienna Woods (National
Theatre) 1977 Horváth, Don Juan Comes Back From The War (National Theatre)
1978 Ibsen, Ghosts (Actors’ Company) 1978 Ibsen, The Wild Duck (National
Theatre) 1979 Mnouchkine and Chéreau, The Prague Trial (BBC Radio) 1980
Moličre, Tartuffe (RSC) 1983 Horváth, Faith Hope and Charity (Manhattan
Theatre Club) 1984
- Able's Will (BBC) 1977 The History Man from the novel by Malcolm Bradbury
(BBC) 1981, Treats (Yorkshire Television) 1983
- A Doll’s House, 1973 Tales From The Vienna Woods, 1979 The Honorary
Tales from Hollywood is presented by arrangement with the Mark Taper Forum of
Los Angeles, California, The play was originally commissioned by Gordon Davidson
and staged by Center Theater Group at the Mark Taper Forum.
Opening of this NT production: The Olivier Theatre 1 September 1983, before
visiting the Bristol Hippodrome 3 to 8 October. John Player and Sons sponsor the
NT company's autumn regional visits.
Length: about 2 hours 30 minutes including interval
- Act I: 1938-41
- Act II: 1942-50
|Ödön von Horváth
Theatre includes in London: The Norman Conquests
(Greenwich and Globe Theatres), Zoo Story (Regent's Park), Otherwise
Engaged (Queen's and Comedy), Just Between Ourselves
(Globe), Alice's Boys (Savoy). With the RSC: When Thou
Art King, Henry VIII, The Plebians Rehearse the Uprising, Major Barbara,
and most recently, King Lear and Antony and Cleopatra.
For the NT at the Old Vic: Hamlet, Saint Joan, The Recruiting
Officer, Andorra, Philoctetes, Othello, The Royal Hunt of the Sun, The
Crucible, Much Ado About Nothing, Mother Courage, Love for Love, Juno and
the Paycock, The Storm; on the South Bank: Betrayal, Close of
Play, Richard III, Othello, Sisterly Feelings, The Life of Galileo
(London Drama Critics' Award for Best Actor), Much Ado About Nothing.
Many TV appearances include: Eyeless in Gaza, The Other One, The
Theatre includes repertory at Nuffield Theatre Southampton (Let's
Get a Divorce, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Puss in Boots, The Roots of
Desire), Sheffield Crucible (Golden Boy). In London: Andy
Capp (Aldwych). TV: TV Eye, Marathon, Educating Marmalade,
Pope John Paul II.
Theatre includes repertory at Liverpool Playhouse, Swan Worcester,
Theatre Royal York. In London: Pericles, The Royal Hunt of the Sun
(Roundhouse). Two years with Prospect Theatre Company. TV includes: The
Saint, The New Avengers, Minder, Z Cars, Softly Softly, The Professionals,
Nancy Astor, Maybury. Films: A Bridge Too Far, Flash Gordon,
Reds, Yanks, Lionman, Wrath of the Witch Queen.
Many film appearances include: Taras Bulba, Nicholas and
Alexandra, Royal Hunt of the Sun, Mr Sardonicus, King of Kings,
Yesterday's Enemy, King of the Khyber Rifles, The Thief of Baghdad, Young
Bess. Television appearances include: The Secret Army,
Kessler, Churchill's People, Portrait in Black, Troubleshooters, The
Avengers, Space 1999, The Saint, Departments.
Theatre includes repertory at Birmingham. In London: The Fool
(Royal Court), On the Out (Bush), The Jolly Green
Soldier (Croydon Warehouse), The Changeling, One Fine Day,
Artists and Admirers (Riverside), Waiting (Lyric
Hammersmith). Tour of Holland with the American Repertory Theatre, TV
includes: Please Sir, No Honestly, Churchill's People, Destiny, Get
Some In, Crown Court, Sounding Brass, Over There, Teezer, Angels, Juliet
Bravo, Holding the Fort, Getting On. Film: In Search of
Theatre includes repertory at Canterbury, Oxford, and appearances in
musicals and pantomime. In London: Winnie the Pooh (Phoenix),
The Good Old Bad Old Days (Prince of Wales), Beautiful
Dreamer (Greenwich). RSC: Nil Carborundum. TV
includes: Z Cars, Arrival 2, The David Essex Show, New Faces, On The
Fringe, and a comedy series in South Africa.
Theatre includes a one-woman show, Sentimental songs of Poor BB
(tour to Berlin, Ilford, Croydon, Battersea, Soho Poly and Theatrespace),
repertory at Neuss/Dusseldorf; two seasons with Theatermanufaktur, Berlin;
played Helene Weigel in Brecht's Women (Northern Studio
Theatre tour); directed Bremen Coffee for The Room, then
Spice of Life and took over the lead when it transferred to
the King's Head. Films: The Draughtsman's Contract, Catch a King.
TV: Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, series The Brief.
Theatre: first West End appearance: Fagin in Oliver (Albery,
1962), The Bed Sitting Room (Duke of York's), Kiss Me
Kate (Coliseum), Gulliver's Travels (Mermaid), The
Friends (Roundhouse), The Real Inspector Hound, After
Magritte (Shaw), Treetops (Riverside), the English
premiere of Anouilh's The Scenario (Canada), 13 Rue de
l'Amour and Hobson's Choice (Australia), The
Price (Leicester). TV includes: Never Mind the Quality
(series), Justin Thyme (co-author), Mrs Acland's
Ghosts, The Cafeteria, Design for Living, Meriel the Ghost Girl, It's a
Square World (series), Q series with Spike Milligan,
and Home Sweet Home (series in Australia). Films include: Return
of the Pink Panther, Help, A Hard Day's Night, Digby, Never Mind the
Quality, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Great
Magonagle, Captain Invincible, Superman III.
Theatre includes in London: Epitaph for George Dillon, The Sport
of My Mad Mother, The Knack (all at the Royal Court); Rosencrantz
and Guildenstern are Dead (Criterion), RSC: Richard III, The
Tempest, King John, The Balcony, Enemies, Coriolanus, Julius Caesar,
Antony and Cleopatra, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Sherlock Holmes
(both the latter also in New York - nominated for Tony Award for Sherlock
Holmes), The Bewitched. NT: Oedipus, The Covent Garden
Tragedy, As You Like It, Edward II, Love's Labour's Lost, Scrabble, Back
to Methuselah, Hamlet (Plays and Players Award for Best Supporting
Actor), Troilus and Cressida, Tamburlaine The Great, The Force of
Habit, Amadeus. Riverside Studios: The Cherry Orchard.
Royal Festival Hall: Every Good Boy Deserves Favour. Opera: A
Christmas Carol (Sadler's Wells). Recent TV includes: She
Fell Among Thieves, Pennies from Heaven, Butterflies Don't Count, Mill on
the Floss, Dead Man's Kit, Dick Turpin, Omega Factor, Oliver Twist, The
Disappearance of Harry, Codename Icarus, The Young Delinquent.
Films include: Thunderball, Hitler — the Last Ten Days, Escape to
Athens, Porridge, Ivanhoe, just completed Fellini's Et Le
|Nelly Mann, his wife
Theatre includes in London: Hotel Paradiso (Winter
Garden), Progress to the Park (Saville), Alphabetical
Order (Hampstead and May Fair), Molly (Comedy). At the Royal Court:
Not I, Footfalls, Happy Days. With the RSC: After
Haggerty, The Greeks, Passion Play. NT at the Old Vic: Play,
The Dutch Courtesan, Othello, Hobson's Choice, Trelawny of the Wells;
on the South Bank: Rockaby. Films include: No Love for
Johnny, Eagle in a Cage, The Twisted Nerve, Charlie Bubbles
(American Critics prize and BAFTA award), Gumshoe, Frenzy,
Nightwatch, Start the Revolution Without Me, Leo the Last, The Omen
(Evening News award), The Water Babies, An Unsuitable Job for a
Woman, Dark Crystal, Slayground. TV includes: The Skin Game,
Love on the Dole, No Trams to Lime Street, A World of Time, Sextet
(BAFTA Award), The Withered Arm, Happy Days, The Serpent Son, But
the Clouds, Eustace and Hilda, Private Schultz, Jamaica Inn.
Theatre includes repertory at Liverpool, Glasgow, Hornchurch, Windsor,
Watford, Lincoln and Nairobi. Toured South Africa in theatre, TV and
radio. Work in London includes The Mousetrap (St Martin's), A
Provincial Life (Royal Court), The Other House
(Mermaid). RSC: one year including Gertrude, for a short time to David
Warner's Hamlet. NT: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Second Mrs
Tanqueray. TV includes: Dixon of Dock Green, Fawlty Towers,
The Gentle Touch.
|Walter, the Butler
Theatre includes repertory at Birmingham and Coventry. London: The
Man Most Likely To. NT: Hamlet, Tamburlaine the Great, Tales
from the Vienna Woods, Julius Caesar, Volpone, The Cherry Orchard, Brand,
Macbeth, The Woman, Strife, The Fruits of Enlightenment, Undiscovered
Country, Richard III, The Wild Duck, Othello, The Life of Galileo, The
Romans in Britain, Amadeus (at Her Majesty's), The Rivals.
TV includes: The Newcomers, Johnny Sahib, Crossroads. Films
include: Nicholas Nickleby, A Matter of Life and Death, Street
Theatre includes repertory at Plymouth, Folkestone, Bath, Lyceum Crewe,
New Theatre Hull, Library Manchester. Worked in Europe with the English
Speaking Theatre. London: The Tigers are Coming (Hampstead), Inherit
the Wind, Waiting for Lefty. Most recently: On the Twentieth
Century (Her Majesty's).
Theatre in the West End includes: Portrait in Black, The
Rossiters, Angel, My Wives and I, Bred in the Bone, September Tide,
Treasure Hunt, The Shadow of Doubt, Tabitha, The Way of the World, The
Iron Duchess, Brouhaha. NT: Tales from the Vienna
Woods, Strawberry Fields, Sir is Winning, The Lady from Maxim's, The
Guardsman, Plunder, Close of Play. TV includes: Sense and
Sensibility, The Kindness of Mrs Radcliffe, The Antoma White
Quartet, Tales of the Unexpected, Shine on Harvey Moon. Films
include: Reach for the Sky, Appointment in London, Carve Her Name
With Pride, The Horse's Mouth.
|Toni Spuhler, the cook
Theatre includes repertory at Northampton, Birmingham, Cheltenham,
Windsor and Richmond Yorkshire. Two seasons at Stratford-upon-Avon.
Recently: Da (King's Head and Greenwich), Harvest
(Ambassadors). NT: The Long Voyage Home. TV includes: Poldark,
War and Peace, Onedin Line, All Creatures Great and Small, Late Call, A
Pin to See the Peepshow, A Horseman Riding By, Funny Man, Crossroads,
Goodnight God Bless. Radio: drama, children's serials and The
|Katja Mann, Thomas' wife
Theatre includes repertory at Birmingham, Bristol, Sheffield and Bath.
West End appearances include: Waltz of the Toreadors and Pygmalion.
TV: includes: Secret Army, A Pin to See the Peepshow, The Duke of
Wellington, The Balance of Nature; recently for US television, Separate
Theatre includes repertory at Birmingham Rep, Crucible Sheffield. At
the NT: Plunder, The Philanderer, Early Days. At Hampstead: Short
List, The Perfectionist. TV includes: A Family at War, Love
on a Gunboat, Murder Most English, Afternoon Dancing, Maybury, The Gentle
Touch, Flight Fund, Standing in for Henry, The Bagthorpes, Open All Hours,
Lucky Jim, The Barchester Chronicles. Film: Britannia
Theatre includes Galileo, Timon of Athens (Glasgow
Citizens); Peer Gynt (Oxford Playhouse); The Wild Duck
(Royal Exchange, Manchester). In Paris: six months with the Theatre
National Populaire. RSC: Destiny, Days of the Commune, Macbeth,
Dingo, That Good Between Us (Plays and Players Award: Most
Promising New Performer); Ezra, The Worlds (Half Moon); Every
Good Boy Deserves Favour (Mermaid); Mephisto
(Roundhouse); The Love of a Good Man, Seduced, Insignificance
(Royal Court — SWET Award for Best Actor for the latter). Films: The
Awakening, Sir Henry at Rawlinson's End, Richard's Things, Dragonslayer
and most recently The Nation's Health, Gorky Park,
Return of the Jedi.
|Helen Weigel, his wife
|Hal, the barman
Recent theatre includes leading roles at Bristol Old Vic, Birmingham
Rep and the Royal Exchange Manchester. For the RSC: Henry V, Henry
VI Part 3, As You Like It, Tis Pity She's a Whore, Saratoga, Othello,
Coriolanus. NT: They Are Dying Out (Workshop). TV: The
Sporting Club Dinner, Love in a Cold Climate, Strangers, Dombey and Son,
Caleb Williams, Reilly.
Theatre includes repertory at Manchester Library, Guildford, Leicester,
Oxford Playhouse, Manchester Royal Exchange, Northcott Exeter, Bristol Old
Vic. In London: Does This Train Stop at Southend?, Herr Puntila and
His Man Matti (Stratford East), Aladdin (Lyric
Hammersmith), Present Laughter (Vaudeville), Hobson's
Choice (Haymarket). TV includes: The Imitation Game, To Serve
Them All Our Days, A Brothers' Tale, Cabbage Patch.
|Robert E Stripling
Repertory at Leicester, Cheltenham, Wolverhampton, Ipswich, Chester,
Crewe, Salisbury, Belfast. In London: Funeral Games (Little
Theatre), Sexual Perversity in Chicago (New End), The
Portage to San Cristobal of A H (Mermaid), Bedtime Story
(King's Head). Spent two years with the Royal Ballet Company's Ballet for
All group. His own one-man show The Best of Times is Now was
at Brighton and in Ireland in 1983 and will be seen in London next year.
NT: Don Quixote, Way Upstream, The Rivals. TV includes: five
years as Sergeant Chubb in Z Cars.
Theatre includes: repertory at Canterbury, Wolverhampton, Windsor,
Nottingham, Bromley. In London: Otherwise Engaged (Queen's
and Comedy), Absurd Person Singular (Vaudeville), The
Philanthropist (May Fair), All My Sons (Wyndham's). TV
includes: The Professionals, House of Caradus, Why Can't I Co Home?,
Love Story, Kate, Dead of Night, Troubleshooters, Hine, Brett, Minder,
Buccaneer, QED. Films: Tamarind Seed, Double Negative.
Theatre includes repertory at Leicester (Once a Catholic,
Godspell, Local Affairs), Darlington (Dick Whittington),
York (Robinson Crusoe); at Stratford East: Mrs Tucker's
Pageant. TV: Squadron, The Fourth Arm.
Theatre includes repertory at Coventry, Birmingham, Bristol Old Vic,
Exeter, Worthing, Guildford, Liverpool, Cheltenham. Recently Man and
Superman (Haymarket and Cambridge Theatres). NT: Harlequinade
(and tour to US), The Elephant Man. TV includes: Z
Cars, Softly Softly, Public Eye, Leap in the Dark, All Creatures Great and
Small, Sam's Christmas Tree, Going Home, Another Drummer, Man and Superman.
|Other parts played by
||members of the company
Work at the Royal Court, where he was Associate Director from 1970 to
1972, includes A Collier's Friday Night, The Local Stigmatic, The
Ruffian on the Stair, A Provincial Life (which he also adapted), A
Soldier's Fortune, The Daughter-in-Law, The Widowing of Mrs Holroyd, Life
Price, The Duchess of Malfi, Crete and Sergeant Pepper, The Merry-Go-Round
(which he also adapted), and his own plays Over Gardens Out, The
Sleepers' Den and Small Change. RSC: Twelfth
Night. At Riverside Studios, where he was director from 1976 to
1980, directed As You Like It, Small Change, The Cherry Orchard, The
Changeling, Measure for Measure, Julius Caesar, Scrape off the Black.
Work abroad includes Much Ado About Nothing (Stratford
Connecticut), Hedda Gabler, Macbeth (Stratford Ontario), Landscape,
Silence (Lincoln Center, New York), Fishing (Public
Theater, New York). NT: A Month in the Country, Don Juan, Much Ado
About Nothing, Danton's Death, Major Barbara and his own plays
Small Change and Kick for Touch.
Work includes designing over 40 plays at Victoria Theatre, Stoke on
Trent. In London: Old King Cole (Stratford East), Ecstasy,
Uncle Vanya (Hampstead), Measure for Measure, Julius Caesar,
Plays Umbrella Season (Riverside). Member of the British theatre
designers who won first prize at 1979 Prague Quadriennale Exhibition. NT: A
Month in the Country, Don Juan, Much Ado About Nothing, The Prince of
Homburg, Danton's Death, Major Barbara, Kick for Touch. RSC: Tartuffe.
Recently lit shows at Oxford Playhouse, New End Hampstead, King's Head,
Arts. NT: Overruled (Young Vic), Crossing Niagara,
Bloody Neighbours (ICA), Emigres, Troilus and Cressida
(with David Hersey), Bread (Young Vic), Strawberry
Fields, Camilla Ringbinder Show, Bow Down, The Passion (with
William Dudley), Half Life, Love Letters on Blue Paper, Herod, Don
Juan, Much Ado About Nothing, Danton's Death, Major Barbara, Kick for
Touch, Small Change. In the West End: Boogie.
Work includes arrangements for Rod McKuen, Robin Gibb, Justin Hayward,
Jon Anderson. Theatre: arranging and music directing for Oxford Playhouse,
Leicester Haymarket, Hornchurch, Exeter, Norwich, Scottish Ballet,
Nottingham Playhouse, Royal Court (Restoration). For the NT:
Guys and Dolls (co-arranger and assistant MD), On the Razzle
(deputy MD), The Beggar's Opera (deputy MD), Schweyk in
the Second World War (assistant MD). TV includes orchestrations for
The Squad, Love is Old, Love is New, Oliver Twist.
||Michael Cass Jones
|Deputy Stage Manager
|Assistant Stage Managers
|Assistant to the Designer
|Assistant to the Lighting Designer
|Scenery and properties constructed and painted in
|Projection screen frames
||P.E. Kemp Engineering
|Swimmign pool equipment
||Penguin Swimming Pools Ltd
Books quoted and consulted: Aller Tage Abend (At the End of the
Day) by Fritz Kortner, Greatness and Misery of Exile
by Lion Feuchtwanger, Leben am Pazifik (Life on the Pacific Coast)
by Alfred Polgar, Nehmt nur mem Leben (Just Take My Life) by
Marlene Dietrich, Photograph of Christopher Hampton © Vogue 1980,
reproduced by kind permission of Conde Nast Publications.