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THE LAST DAYS OF MANKIND

By Karl Kraus
Translated and Directed by Robert David MacDonald
Designed by Terry Bartlett
Lighting by Gerry Jenkinson

 

THE CITZ, 21 Years of the Glasgow Citizens Theatre, by Michael Coveney

 

"Kraus's The Last Days of Mankind was one of the Citizens' most spectacular 'impossible' undertakings. MacDonald, who adapted the 800-page epic to a four-hour entertainment set in a Viennese coffee shop, told Sarah Hemming of The Times that Kraus experts would be horrified; but any purist outrage, a limited commodity in respect of Kraus, would have been overshadowed by Kraus's own acknowledgement of the difficulties: 'The performance of this drama is intended for a theatre on Mars. Theatre-goers of this world would not be able to bear it.' Hence the apocalyptic conflagration at the end of MacDonald's extraordinary production in which a disembodied voice from - yes - Mars terminated relations with our planet and left us to stew in our own rancid juice.

This was the outbreak of war and catastrophe confidently predicted by Kraus the Grouse (biliously impersonated by Giles Havergal as 'a Thersites in evening dress' according to Michael Billington and 'a Diogenes of the flesh pots' in Irving Wardle's estimate), while the Viennese beau monde sat around with their noses in newspapers and their heads in the clouds. Images of war, prostitution and disease were overlaid in a nightmarish correspondence with the disintegration of Viennese intellectual and artistic life. Yet another version had been wrought of the Citizens fin de siecle salon style while introducing British audiences to the authentic voice of one of Europe's master satirists."

 http://members.aol.com/citzsite/citz/gcmanknd.htm

 

 

 

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Last Days of Mankind

Derwent Watson ...............A Restauranteur
Katherine Kitovitz ...........A Waitress
Robert Gwilym ................An Officer
Ian Puleston-Davies ..........Another Officer
Garry Roost ..................Yet Another Officer
Patrick Hannaway .............A Patriot and Optimist
Rupert Farley ................A Reader of Newspapers
Lorcan Cranitch ..............A Man of Science
Yolanda Vasquez ..............A Lady of Ends
Shaun Behan ..................A Journalist
Jonathan Scott-Taylor.........A Photographer
Laurance Rudic ...............A Man of Iron
Robin Hooper .................A Man of Steel
Ciaran Hinds .................A Man of Government
John Breck ...................A Waiter
Charon Bourke ................A Tart
Gary Oldman ..................A Man of God
Johanna Kirby ................A Lady of Means
Giles Havergal ...............Kraus the Grouse
Jill Spurrier ................An Actress
Jane Bertish .................A War Correspondent

Source: The Compleat Sean Bean


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