You are here:
Synopsis index
Der Feenball

[Image:Moving Theatre logo]Der Feenball
oder Tischler, Schneider und Schlosser

The Fairy Ball
Or Carpenter, Tailor and locksmith

Farce parody in 3 acts.
By Johann Nestroy
Written: 1832

Funded by

Arts council of England

Austrian Cultural Forum

Fortuna, Ruler of Fortune, a powerful fairy
Brilliantina, her daughter
Lumpacivagabundus, Ruler of merry calamity
Poverinus, his son
Carnevalis, a wizard
Nemesis, the strict judge of the fairy world
Paracelsus, fairy doctor
Marmotte, an old fairy
Leim, a carpenter
Kmäh, a tailor
Bum, a locksmith
Faßl, head servant in a brewery
Pantsch, innkeeper
Nannette, his daughter
Hannerl, waitresses
Strudl, innkeeper in Nürnberg
Engelmann, master carpenter in Nürnberg
Peppi, his daughter
Three masters of Guilds

Frau Gertrud, housekeeper at Engelmann’s
Reserl, menial servant at Engelmann’s
Innkeeper in the village
His wife

Madam Hammer
Servants, nymphs, people, fairies, wizards, witches, market women, wedding guests, farmers, travellers etc.

The action takes place partly in Germany, partly in Italy, and partly in the fairy world.

Fortuna, the fairy ruler of fortune, refuses to let her daughter marry Poverinus, the son of Lumpacivagabundus, the fairy of merry misery. In the course of the ensuing argument, Fortuna slanders Lumpacivagabundus, and the fairy judge, Nemesis, decides that Fortuna must consent to the marriage between Brillianta and Poverinus, unless she wins a challenge. The challenge is that she must bestow good fortune on three of Lumpacivagabundus’ human followers. Should they waste their lucky chance (and she is to give them two chances), Fortuna will lose the bet and must consent to the marriage.[Entrance song: Bum, Leim, Kmäh] Three tramps have come to town to celebrate. Fortuna sends them each a lottery tip in their sleep, and they each win a great fortune. Overjoyed they make plans to go their separate ways and agree to meet again in a years’ time.

Leim goes to Nürnberg to see if it is possible for him to marry the girl he loves, who he had mistakenly thought was betrothed to another. Her father agrees to the marriage, and Lumpacivagabundus has to agree that Leim is handling his good fortune well. Fortuna and Lumpacivagabundus’ attention turns to the other two, who are not faring so well. Kmäh is duped by his upper class fiancé who is only interested in his money, whilst Bum is in prison having drunk away his fortune. Fortuna decides to send Bum and Kmäh luck of a more lasting kind than money. As agreed, the friends meet again after a year, as arranged. Leim tests his friends’ loyalty with a trick, but on finding them to be true friends, he offers to take care of them both. Kmäh soon tires of his respectable life at Leim’s, and tries to run off with a servant girl, who refuses to go with him, whilst Bum for his part misses his former life of drinking. Full of misgivings, Leim give Kmäh money to go travelling, and locks Bum in the house to stop him going to the inn. Bum escapes out of the window, and meets up with Kmäh. Together they return to their itinerant begging life, and are content. Fortuna must admit that she has lost the challenge, and consents to her daughters’ wedding.


The Plays of Johann Nestroy. A directory of synopses prepared by Julian Forsyth & Zoe Svenson.
Funded by the Austrian Cultural Forum and Arts Council England. © Moving Theatre 2004