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Nur Ruhe!

[Image:Moving Theatre logo]Nur Ruhe!
Oh for some quiet!

A farce in 3 Acts
By Johann Nestroy
Premiere: Vienna, 23 March 1843.

Funded by

Arts council of England

Austrian Cultural Forum

Anton Schafgeist, owner of a leather business
Heinrich Splittinger,his nephew
Herr von Hornissl, speculator
Barbara, his wife
Peppi, their daughter
Laffberger, Hornissl’s nephew
Madame Groning, widow
Syndicus Werthner
Franz Walkauer, head of business at Schafgeist’s
Sanfthuber, mature journeyman at Schafgeist’s
Rochus Dickfell, leather worker at Schafgeist’s
Steffl, apprentice
Frau Schiegl, Schafgeist’s housekeeper
Klecks, office clerk
Patzmann, village surgeon
Leocadia, Rochus’ adopted daughter
Schopf, watchman

The action takes place at Schafgeist’s house, not far from the city.

Syndicus discuss the decision of Franz’s master, Schafgeist (his name means ‘sheep mind’ in German), to hand his business over to his nephew, with the intention of finally having some peace. They point out that his recent life has hardly been taxing, as Franz essentially runs the business for him. [Song: Rochus] Rochus was sacked for knocking another worker, Sanfthuber’s teeth out, and has returned to claim his old job back. He is a cheeky lad, but although he manages to bring Sanfthuber round, he doesn’t have the same effect on Franz. However, Sanfthuber comes to see what the fuss is about, and gives him his old job as the quickest way to be left in peace. Steffl appears with the news that there has been a coach accident just outside the house. They rush out to see what has happened, and help. Schafgeist’s housekeeper is worried she won’t be able to manage with all these unexpected guests. Mr and Mrs von Hornissl enter with their daughter Peppi and nephew Laffberger, complaining about the bad road, blaming Schafgeist for the accident, oblivious to his attempts to make them welcome. Mrs. Hornissl makes Peppi lay out her dresses fearing they were damaged in the accident. Hornissl is offended that Schafgeist doesn’t recognise his name, introducing his nephew Laffberger as a man of the world. Schafgeist is however clearly a name that is familiar to him. Complaining about the region’s food, Laffberger rudely insists they should provide him with dinner, as recompense for the accident, whilst Hornissl snaps at his wife in public as she complains about the loss of her accessories in the accident. When Hornissl discovers they are soon to be related by marriage, he says they can do away with formalities – to the horror of Schafgeist who has already had enough of their rudeness. Laffberger proceeds to treat Schafgeist with contempt, wilfully damaging his furniture and rubbishing his taste, to which Hornissl merely reacts with the repeated observation that Laffberger is a man of the world.

Text lost.


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