The Threepenny Opera – this well-known story set in London’s criminal underworld was first created in 1728 by John Gay, and then two hundred years later by Bertolt Brecht. His Threepenny Opera was first shown on 31 August
1928 in Berlin’s Theater am Schiffbauerdamm, becoming the greatest theatrical success of the 1920s. German newspapers wrote of the ‘triumphal success of this new-style musical.’ Before long the Threepenny Opera had been shown in nineteen German theatres, in Vienna, Prague and Budapest. It was translated into eighteen languages, and over the next five years it saw an unbelievable 10,000 reprises and a film version directed by G. W. Pabst in 1931.
“I like things that don’t look serious, writers that use exaggeration and ridicule and who have a tendency to emphasis theatricality and detachment. I like things where the stupidity is not symbolic, but transferred, where there are broad brush strokes rather than tiny details. Things where something is dealt with in front of us without anger, without eloquent emotions. (...) The Threepenny Opera is more like a canvas, as if a lot of angry actors had picked something up and thrown it on a heap. As if they were discussing something angrily in front of us: ‘The devil take it! That’s life’ – the gesticulation is the same as you’ve already seen in Shakespeare and Schiller: clear, personal – full of human audacity. (...) I don’t think that the allegory of The Threepenny Opera carries any very difficult thoughts. I wanted to create a performance about today’s world, because I believe that society, the society in which we live in Hungary, is only just ready for this play. Our social standing, our integration have currently become synchronous with the questions asked in this play. (Róbert Alföldi)
15th International Festival Theatre Pilsen Booklet (Printed Edition)