On the last Sunday in May we headed south of Vienna into a region in the State of Lower Austria known as the hunchback world. Nestled within this rather beautiful hill country is the small town of Bad Schönau, our destination for a day of wonderful entertainment.
The purpose of our trip was to take H and her friend to the Fabelhaft – a festival of storytelling through words, mime, puppetry, music and magic. What I had expected to be a fun day for the kids turned out to be marvellous entertainment for ‘children’ from 4 to 104!
My personal favourite was the feet puppetry of Laura Kibel from Italy:
I’ve posted a selection of pictures from her performance here
While they loved the feet puppetry, the girls couldn’t stop laughing at the silent comedy of the KGB Clowns from Russia. Their performance captured the audience who were drawn deeper and deeper into the crazy world created by two artists who had no need for words.
A selection of shots from their performance can be seen here
Other acts (amongst others) on the day included these wooden puppets….
In addition to the festival, I was also rather taken by the village of Bad Schönau and the surrounding area…
As we sat drinking coffee in the sun, outside a local restaurant, the quiet of the Sunday morning was broken by the sounds of the village band playing as people came out from a church gathering:
The local church itself sits on a small hill dominating and defining its environment:
Walking through the fields near the village we came across this tiny chapel:
From the chapel we entered a small coppice and through the trees could be seen a local castle nestling on yet another hillside:
The Vienna Greens have halved the city council’s funding of the annual Stadfest to around 450,000 Euro’s. The report in the Austrian Independent highlight’s that this particular city centre festival, which it describes as ‘a tradition-rich series of concerts, performances and readings…’ is organised by the opposition Viennese Peoples Party (ÖVP). They are said to be furious at the decision but that the event, which is held each summer, will never the less go ahead. The Greens have also announced a cut in the subsidies for Donauinselfest which is organised by their senior partners in City government, the SPÖ. The article points out that the cut is some 100,000 Euro’s and that the event has previously been support to the tune of 1.5 million, but I’m unclear what this coming years budget will be.
The Greens themselves will now be organising their own event in the autumn of next year called the Wienwoche.
These regular festivals are extremely popular but coming from England I still find it ‘different’ that such events are organised by
political parties with tax payers contributing, particular given that political parties are state funded here. On the other hand, they generate entertainment and income for city residents and a lot of tourists are attracted to the city for these events.
Recently had a highly enjoyable time at the Vienna EnglishTheatre where the kids of Showtime, the theatres youth group, put on their musical production of ‘The Wizard of Oz’.
It was one of those days when I get to do my proud father routine and H’s performance was such that I could in all sincerity say well
done and bravo. In fact, all the youngster had worked so hard and put such an effort into the show that every single relative and friend, who made up the audience, was certainly able to say they had enjoyed good performances, as well as having played the role of supporter.
Being the English Theatre the show was staged in English. The performances were excellent but one was further impressed by the reality that for many of the kids taking part this was not their first language. The theatre group is relatively new but the teachers have already established a strong sense of identity and it is clear that the children really enjoy taking part.
This was my first chance to actually see a production at the English Theatre which is located in the 8th District but not far
from the City centre. As the name implies the theatre stages plays in English and looking at the 2011-12 season it won’t be long before I’m back there again:
Sunday evening combined two of my favourite experiences – on this occasion I’m not referring to either Football or Austrian Wine. No, in this instance it was the chance to see a live performance and to have an excuse to wander around another interesting old building.
We were in the Ruprechtskirche one of the oldest (if not the oldest) church in central Vienna. The reason for our visit was a performance of Doomsdays by Konrad Rennert and Boris Hauf. Sitting in the pews of this small church provided a wonderfully intimate setting for the mix of readings and music that kept the audience absorbed throughout. Like the rest of the audience, I thoroughly enjoyed the performance and was for much of the time lost in the sounds and feel of the intertwined speech and music. This was despite the fact that Doomsdays was performed in German and I managed to glean only every third or fourth word. However, the rest of the audience did not face my linguistic shortcomings (most people seem to be happy to communicate in German or English, no matter what their mother tongue, and as ever put me to shame for my mono-linguistic limitations) and it was clear from the post performance conversations that those able to gather the deeper meanings of the piece were
full of praise.
The Ruprechtskirche is of Romanesque design and as such an unusual building in Vienna. R commented on the simplicity of the interior and how the church reminded her of churches in England. As the conversations about the performance moved from English to German I switched my attention to enjoying the architecture of this lovely building.
I’m currently listening to the DOOMSDAYS album by Konrad Rennert and Boris Hauf.
Planning to go to their public performance tomorrow evening (Sonntag 19 Juni, 20.00 Uhr) at the Ruprechtskirche, Ruprechtsplatz 1, 1010 Wien. Eintritt 10 € / 5 €
I’m biased – as Konrad is a friend – but could be worth going along if you’re in Vienna tomorrow night.
Ein loses Kontinuum von Weltuntergängen undderen Betrachtungsweisen mit Texten und Musik von Karl Kraus, GeorgKaiser und den Interpreten
Weltuntergängeam laufenden Band. Wir müssen sie nicht herbeiführen – sie kümmern sichum sich selbst; sie holen sich schon, was sie brauchen …
Wozutagtäglich auf das Eintreffen von Prophezeiungen hysterischer Mystikerund raffgieriger Angstmacher jeglicher religiöser,
antireligiöser –meistens jedenfalls aber sektiererischer – Couleur warten, wenn wirunsere Weltenden und jene unserer Lieben doch weitgehend selbst inHänden halten? Die meisten Weltuntergänge, die wir mit uns tragen, woimmer wir gehen und stehen, die unübersehbar aus unseren Westentaschenquellen, aus unseren Augen funkeln und aus unseren Mündern geifern –sind nicht diese unsere liebevoll gehätscheltenWestentaschenapokalypschen dennoch immer wieder für eine kleine Überraschung gut?
DiePalette von Weltuntergängen der aktuellen Programmauswahl reicht von„vergnüglich“ über „ernst“ bis „bierernst“. Konrad Rennert (Stimme u.Electronics) und Boris Hauf (Saxophone, Electronics u. bisserl Stimme)relativieren in ihrer gemeinsamen Duokomposition anhand von Textenvorwiegend aus den Zehner- und Zwanzigerjahren des 20. Jahrhundertssowie Live- und elektronischer Musik zwischen Lassus und Wienerlied unddarüber hinaus die Finalität unserer permanent doomsdays und garantieren gleichzeitig deren fröhlicheKontinuität.
Boris Hauf – Saxophone, Electronics, Keyboards (*1974 in England) u. Konrad Rennert Stimme, Electronics(*1958 in New York) sind beide Improvisatoren und Komponisten. IhreWerke werden aufgeführt, sie touren und unterrichten weltweit undkönnen Wien ertragen.