Im Opiumrausch


Wednesday, 11th April 2012
8 pm

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Exactly 105 years ago, in October 1906, the two popular actors and theatre impresarios Sigmund and Leopold Natzler opened the theatre and cabaret known as “Die Hölle” (“hell”) in the cellar of the Theater an der Wien. It was committed to the spirit of French cabaret and served as a breeding ground for every kind of entertainer. Josef Urban and Heinrich Lefler designed two splendid Jugendstil rooms: the auditorium, in which the interval bar is now located, and the so-called Höllensaal with a colour scheme of red and red, with boxes, decorated with licking flames of gold and furnished with tall mirrors. Both rooms were places of laughter, song and dance. Franz Lehár, Edmund Eysler and the young Robert Stolz wrote one-act variety operettas for the Hölle. Ralph Benatzky, Fritz Grünbaum, Karl Farkas, Hans Moser, Hugo Wiener, Mela Mars and Stella Kadmon are just some of the stars whose careers began there. Following the sensational success of the two revues Rouge & Noir and Tanz der Blinden, Georg Wacks is putting together an anniversary revue for the Hölle that – 105 years after the opening – will present previously unknown highlights with authentic costumes and magnificent sets. Fin-de-siècle flair will be provided by the diseuse Elena Schreiber with her racy chansons, Christoph Wagner-Trenkwitz with his grotesque dances, Martin Thoma with profound observations on local life and Stefan Fleischhacker as the last surviving virtuoso whistler. In the accompanying exhibition, Marie-Theres Arnbom presents long-lost artefacts. The in-house catering service will provide an endless stream of champagne.