The second one-act moves into darker territory. The petty squabble of two patrons in a Vienna cafe is interrupted by a starving “foreigner” dressed as a concentration camp prisoner (Ute Springer). The combination of Nazi-era and contemporary elements is a reminder of how deeply ingrained intolerance remains in Austria.
Final one-act has Shakespeare (Matic) involved with a dreadful acting company, the play serving as a writer’s ultimate revenge on actors. At the final curtain, when no applause comes and the thesps take their bows to an empty house (a painted mirror image of the Akademietheatre), Othello finds it’s the perfect opportunity to enumerate to the author the many flaws in his characters. The defeated playwright hands over his final script, “The Tempest,” to the actor, who asks eagerly, “Is there a role in it for me?” Answer: “I fear so.”
The octogenarian Tabori appears to be writing his farewell to the theater in his latest work. A pity that he uses Shakespeare’s lines to end this play.