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Frank Wedekind


Frank Wedekind (1864-1918) was the most controversial dramatist of his age. Most of his work focuses on the ubiquity and inevitably corrupting influence of sexual attraction. Wedekind worked as an actor, circus performer and theatrical producer, and his work frequently features the conflict between highbrow and popular forms of entertainment. His aggressive promiscuity resulted in his highlighting sex with a hitherto unknown openness, which led to a series of conflicts with censorship authorities.


The Great Gerardo


On the day of his departure to sing Tristan in Brussels, the celebrated tenor Gerardo receives three unwelcome visitors. Despite their persistent attentions, he manages to honor his singing contract, but at an unexpected personal cost.


This play was originally published as The Court Singer (Der Kammersänger). The English version used for this recording was prepared by Alan Weyman and drew upon the following translations: 

1) Albert Wilhelm Boesche - The Court Singer

2) André Tridon - The Tenor


Cast: 

Gerardo - Alan Weyman

Helen Marova - Erin Louttit

Professor Duehring - Noel Badrian

Isabel Coehurne - Sarah Hulslander; 

Muller - Noel Badrian

Valet - David Prickett

Bell Boy - Leanne Yau


Text preparation by Alan Weyman


Audio edited by Denis Daly


LInk to audio:

The Great Gerardo

 Earth Spirit

 A Tragedy in Four Acts


Translated by Samuel A. Eliot


Frank Wedekind (1864-1918) was the most controversial dramatist of his age. Most of his work focuses on the ubiquity and inevitably corrupting influence of sexual attraction. His most famous plays are the two that depict the rise, fall, and eventual gruesome death of the vampish Lulu, who, in Wedekind’s presentation, became a ghastly parody of Goethe’s “Eternal Feminine”.

The first of the plays is Earth Spirit, in which Lulu marries and survives three husbands, only to face prosecution for the shooting of the third. Lulu’s later adventures are described in the following play, Pandora’s Box. The two plays were later bundled with Death and the Devil and Castle Wetterstein to form a tetralogy that was published as Tragedies of Sex




Cast 
Ringmaster/Rodrigo - Ron Altman 
Lulu - Charlotte Duckett 
Countess Geschwitz - Leanne Yau 
Schigolch - Marty Krz 
Alva Schön - Brett Downey 
Dr. Schön - John Burlinson 
Schwartz - Garrison Moore 
Prince Escerny and Ferdinand - Joseph Tabler 
Dr. Goll and Escherich - Alan Weyman 
Alfred Hugenberg and Henriette - Chyanne Donnell


Stage directions read by Denis Daly 


Audio edited by Denis Daly


Link to audio:

Earth Spirit


 Pandora's Box

Pandora’s Box
A Tragedy in Three Acts

Play translated by Samuel A. Eliot Jnr

Prologue translated by Leanne Yau and Alan Weyman and rendered into verse by Charlotte Duckett.

This play is the sequel to Earth Spirit, in which the adventurous and manipulative Lulu marries and rids herself of three husband, only to be arrested for the murder of the third.  In Pandora’s Box, Lulu escapes from prison only to be forced in the life of a courtesan .  Reduced to desperate poverty, she meets her end at the hands of murderous customer in London.

In Wedekind’s sordid morality tale, all Lulu’s main associates suffer premature and unnatural deaths, excepting the degenerate Schigolch, who is one of the most unpleasant characters in European drama. In Wedekind's dark world, virtue is a practical improbability and vice, although often punished, continues to thrive.

In the prologue,  which has been specially translated for this production,  Wedekind pillories the forces of censorship and critical approval, against which he contended almost continuously throughout his writing career.

Cast
Prologue
The Enterprising Publisher - John Burlinson
The Ordinary Reader - K.G.Cross
The Bashful Author - Joseph Tabler 
The Attorney General - Alan Weyman

Play
Rodrigo Quast - Ron Altman
Lulu - Charlotte Duckett 
Countess Geschwitz - Leanne Yau
Schigolch - Marty Kryz
Alva Schön - Brett Downey
Count Casti Piani - John Burlinson
Detective and Jack - Garrison Moore
Heilmann and Dr. Hilti – JosephTabler
Puntschu and Kungu Poti - Alan Weyman
Alfred Hugenberg and Kadidia - Chyanne Donnell
Bianetta and Magelone - K.G.Cross
Ludmilla Steinherz and Bob - P.J. Morgan

Stage directions read by Denis Daly

Audio edited by Denis Daly

Copyright for the verse version of the Prologue is held by Charlotte Duckett.


Link to audio:

Pandora's Box


 Death and the Devil

This play forms part of a tetralogy which focuses on one of Wedekind's obsessive themes: the destructive interplay between primal sexual urges and social convention. Each play revolves around a powerful young female character, who has the power to control and captivate men, but who in turn is destroyed by the exercise of that power.

In this play, the dominant female is Fräulein Elfriede von Malchus, an idealistic crusader who visits a brothel operated by the cynical impresario Casti-Piani in order to rescue a young woman who has fallen into his clutches.

In a perverse way, Wedekind's plays are morality tales, in which he gives a new twist to the biblical admonition; "Forgive them, for they know not what they do." In most cases, when characters finally do become aware of who they are and what they have done, the knowledge leads to their destruction. In Death and the Devil, Casti-Piani kills himself when he learns that prostitution can actually provide its victims with a path to moral glorification.

Cast
The Marquis Casti-Piani - John Burlinson;
Fräulein Elfriede von Malchus - Amanda Friday
Herr König - Mark Crowle-Groves
Lisiska - Leanne Yau.
Stage directions read by Denis Daly.

Audio edited by Denis Daly.


Link to audio:

Death and the Devil

 Castle Wetterstein

Translated by Ian Johnston


This play forms part of a tetralogy which focuses on one of Wedekind's obsessive themes: the destructive interplay between primal sexual urges and social convention. Each play revolves around a powerful young female character, who has the power to control and captivate men, but who in turn is destroyed by the exercise of that power. In Castle Wetterstein, that role is represented by Effie, the young daughter of a bourgeois widow, who is being courted by the man who killed her late husband in a duel. Later in the play Effie becomes, like Wedekind’s most celebrated heroine, Lulu, a sacrificial victim on the altar of profane love.






Cast: 

Rüdiger, Baron Wetterstein - Russell Gold
Leonore von Gystrow - P J Morgan
Effie and the Housemaid - Amanda Friday
Meinrad Luckner and Chagnaral Tschamper of Atakama - Noel Badrian
Van Zeeter (hotel manager) and Professor Dr. Scharlach - John Burlinson
Duvoisin (police inspector) and Karl Salzmann - Ron Altman
Matthais Taubert - David Stifel
Waiter and Schigabet - Alan Weyman
Heiri Wipf and Waldemar
Uhlhorst - Andy Harrington
Narrator - Denis Daly

Audio edited by Denis Daly


Link to audio:

Castle Wetterstein

                                                                                          


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