A: Thomas Bernhard Pf: 1974, Salzburg Pb: 1974 Tr: 1976 G: Drama in 3 scenes; German free verse S: Garibaldi's caravan, 1970s C: 4m, 1fIn order to escape from the drab repetition of his life as circus ringmaster and from the soulless ‘asphalt-covered sites’ of venues like Augsburg, Garibaldi has for the last 22 years been rehearsing Schubert's Trout Quintet. He is accompanied reluctantly by the Juggler, who dreams of working in France, by his Granddaughter, a tightrope artist who does not feel well, by a depressed Clown, and by a melancholy Lion-Tamer, Garibaldi's nephew, whose arm is in a bandage. During a circus performance the five come and go in Garibaldi's caravan: the Lion-Tamer is angry at the way Garibaldi exercises his power over them all and recalls how Garibaldi's daughter died, exhausted, when she fell from the tightrope. Eventually, they are ready to rehearse and await the arrival of the Lion-Tamer, while the Clown's hat keeps falling off. The Lion-Tamer arrives drunk, thumps the piano a bit, and has to be carried out. Resignedly, Garibaldi abandons the rehearsal, repeats yet again: ‘Augsburg tomorrow’, and turns on the radio, which plays the start of the Trout Quintet.
A: Thomas Bernhard Pf: 1974, Salzburg Pb: 1974 Tr: 1976 G: Drama in 3 scenes; German free verse S: Garibaldi's caravan, 1970s C: 4m, 1f
The Austrian Thomas Bernhard is one of the most often performed contemporary German-language playwrights. His poetic language, repetitions, and focus on situation rather than on plot development remind one of Beckett, especially Waiting for Godot. Here, however, ‘Augsburg tomorrow’ is not some promise of future redemption, but rather yet another stage in Garibaldi's dreary existence (for which the Mayor of Augsburg threatened to sue Bernhard). The only escape and dignity lie in Garibaldi's hope: ‘If we succeeded just once |…in completing | the Trout Quintet | one single time perfect music.’