You are here:
Synopsis index
Der Tritschtratsch

[Image:Moving Theatre logo]Der Tritschtratsch
The Gossip

A local farce with songs in 2 Acts
By Johann Nestroy
Premiere: 20th November 1833
[Based on Klatschereien {Gossip} by Louis Angely]

Funded by

Arts council of England

Austrian Cultural Forum

Inspector Wurm
Marie, his daughter
Madame Grünberger, a lady from Berlin
Gottlieb Fiedler, her nephew
Mamsell Caton
Mamsell Babett
Mamsell Charlott
Mamsell Christin
Mamsell Nanett
Sebastian Tratschmiedl, a tobacconist (originally played by Nestroy)
Guests at the engagement party

The action takes place in a suburb of Vienna.

[Chorus] - Marie is looking forward to celebrating her engagement to Gottlieb Fiedler, but her jealous cousins try to spoil her day with their gossip. The girls' barbs are directed not only at Fielder but at his aunt Madame Grünberger who is promoting the match. Gottlieb, his aunt, Marie and her father Inspector Wurm finally ignore the wicked tongues and walk out. - [Aria, Babett: "If only I had a suitor"] - The local tobacconist, Traschmiedl, is telling a newly-arrived customer about the forthcoming engagement of Marie and Fiedler. The loose-tongued tobacconist also tells him that Fiedler is a rogue who has already promised marriage to several women. Frank, the customer, tells Tratschmiedl that the engagement cannot take place because Wurm is not Marie's father. He happens to know that Wurm's actual daughter died at the age of six and Marie was adopted in her place. Before Tratschmiedl can find out anything about Marie's real father, their discussion is interrupted by other customers, and the stranger disappears. Tratschmiedl immediately passes on these news to the jealous cousins, who gleefully spread them around town.

In a conversation between Frank and Wurm we then discover that Frank himself is Marie's real father, that he has become rich, and that he will not consent to her marrying Fiedler.

[Duet Babett/Tratschmiedl] - Tratschmiedl confesses his love to Babett but she rejects him. When Madame Grünberger learns of Marie's mysterious background she persuades her nephew to conquer his feelings for Marie and renounce her. Marie thus discovers what is being said about her in the village, traces the rumour to its source and confronts Tratschmiedl. - [Song, Tratschmiedl: "A little chat over the snuff"]

All now hurry to Wurm to learn the truth. He explains that Marie's real father has just arrived from Berlin to give his daughter a large dowry. The cousins turn green with envy. Frank, without revealing his identity, corrects Wurm's story: Marie's real father had indeed made money but lost it all and is now ruined. Madame Grünberger, who had been on the point of changing her mind about Marie's prospects, now dissuades her nephew again from considering the match, but this time is Gottlieb is adamant: he will wed Marie whether her father is rich or poor. Frank then reveals his identity, gives the couple his blessing and gives Marie a dowry of 50,000 guilders. The cousins are reduced to gnawing the walls in envy and frustration. - [Finale]


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