Faith, Hope and Charity

by Ödön von Horváth, with contributions by Lukas Kristl

Ödön von Horváth called »Faith, Hope and Charity«, which he wrote in 1932, a “little dance of death”. A clear error of judgement, one might argue, as the story of the young woman who, because of a harmless infringement of the law, loses her means of subsistence and is forced to surrender to a mercilessly self-obsessed society, is hardly a little dance, but rather the report of a full-scale annihilation. Horváth’s reasons for choosing such a subtitle become clear in a side note he wrote, addressing the compulsion to downplay things: “As in all of my plays I have not prettified or uglified anything. Those who try to recreate us human beings will without doubt find that our expressions of feelings are sentimentalised, by which I mean: falsified, trivialised, and masochistically hankering after pity, probably due to attention-grabbing complacency.”

With »Faith, Hope and Charity« Christoph Marthaler directs a play by Horváth for the fourth time.

Photos © Walter Mair