Traditional Vienna experiences typically involve coffee, cake, or classical music. But also time travel back to Victorian London, courtesy of Open House Theatre.
- English-language touring company based in Vienna
- Several productions each year
- From classic to contemporary works
- A Christmas Carol an annual regular
- Plays a wider cultural role in the city, too
- See also:
Open by name & nature
(The group performed here in December 2023 at the KIP. Kunst im Prückel)
Vienna has many pleasures to tempt visitors at Christmas.
The stage adaptation was an annual stalwart of Vienna’s International Theatre, but that institution closed for good back in 2012. Fortunately for us, Open House Theatre took up the tradition.
Dickens’ famous work is just one of the delights this independent touring company has to offer: they put on several public productions each year in and around Vienna.
The 2023 edition of A Christmas Carol (a musical take on the story), for example, ran from December 8th to December 22nd at the KIP. Kunst im Prückel location below Café Prückel in Vienna’s centre.
My wife and I took in the show and enjoyed a fun, relaxed evening of the kind you really need at this time of year (with the bonus of punch and mince pies in the interval). A distinct aura of positivity emanates from the group that adds another welcome touch to 21st century life.
(1865 photo of Charles Dickens taken by Charles Jacotin; Wien Museum Inv.-Nr. 146770; excerpt reproduced with permission under the terms of the CC0 licence)
The diverse and self-funded company’s choice of productions follows an annual motto and a remit to pick up “stories worth telling”.
As such, the genre etc. is flexible, leading to an eclectic mix that might vary from Romeo and Juliet to a one-man retelling of Dracula, a reimagined classic or an original work.
“As long as it’s a good story,” to quote Robert G. Neumayr, Chair of the Board, when I chatted with him over coffee.
Mr. Dickens would no doubt approve. After all, as he wrote in A Christmas Carol:
…there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good-humour
More than theatre
(A story definitely worth telling)
Although its productions will probably interest visitors most, Open House has a wider remit. It acts as an intermediary, network and platform, for example, offering support for creative endeavours and collaborations across fields.
The theatre also plays a role in English language education, taking short, interactive productions to local schools.
Less educational, perhaps, but possibly more fun are regular staged live readings of well-known film scripts. With an (entirely optional) drinking game thrown in. So you might enjoy Austin Powers with a suitable cocktail (or just a nice cup of tea).
If you’re in town and in search of some English-language theatrical culture, do take a look at the performance schedule.