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[Image:Moving Theatre logo]Eisenbahnheiraten oder Wien, Neustadt, Brünn
Railway Marriage

A farce with songs in 3 Acts
By Johann Nestroy

Funded by

Arts council of England

Austrian Cultural Forum

Ignaz Stimmstock, guitar and violinmaker in Vienna
Peter Stimmstock, wind instrument maker in Krems
Edmund, head worker at Ignaz Stimmstock’s
Patzmann, painter of portraits and interiors
Zopak, master baker in Brünn
Babett, his daughter
Nanny, his ward
Kipfl, master baker in Neustadt
Theres, his daughter
Brandenburger, head worker at Kipf’s
Frau Zaschelhuberin, second hand dealer in Neustadt
Jacob, porter at the railway station in Neustadt
A porter at the railway station in Brünn

The first act takes place in Vienna, the second in Neustadt, the third in Brünn.

Act 1. Cousins Peter and Ignaz both want to get married. Peter is intending to go to Brünn to visit his bride, whom he has never met, whilst Ignaz plans to travel to Neustadt with Miss Zaschelhuberin, a marriage broker, to see his bride, Theres Kipfl. [song: Patzmann] Friends Patzmann and Edmund have recently got to know two girls at the theatre in Brünn. In the meantime, Patzmann has run off with one of the girls, Zopak’s ward, Nanny, to Vienna, where he hopes to procure her a job at Ignaz’s. The other girl, It emerges that Zopak’s daughter Babett, is both Peter’s promised bride, and the girl that Edmund is wooing. Babett and Zopak go to Ignaz’s shop in Vienna, looking for Nanny. Whilst Zopak continues to look on the street, Edmund proposes marriage to Babett, who refuses him, giving her fiancé Peter, whom she has never met, as her reason. However Babett takes an immediate dislike to Peter when he arrives, so Patzmann pretends to Peter that she is Ignaz’s bride. So that Peter won’t discover how he has been tricked, Patzmann exploits Peter’s ignorance of the railway timetable, and sends him to Neustadt, Peter all the while thinking he is going to Brünn. Ignaz and Zaschelhuberin also set off for Neustadt, as does Zopak, still on Nanny’s trail.

Act 2. The porter mistakes Peter for Ignaz and picking him up from the station, takes him straight to Kipfl’s house, which Peter takes for Zopak’s baker’s shop in Brünn. Discovering Theres and Brandenburger’s relationship Peter is extremely angry that his bride – as he thinks – is having an affair. However when Brandenburger challenges him to a duel, he decides to flee. [Song: Patzmann] Peter bumps into Zopak, which leads to a number of misunderstandings. When Nanny appears, Patzmann makes out to her uncle, that he found her wandering alone and vulnerable in Vienna, and to save her from misfortune, pretended that she was his sister. When Kipfl arrives, even more misunderstandings arise. Kipfl is so angry at his daughter’s relationship with Brandenburger that he decides to disinherit her. It is only when Zaschelhuberin and Ignaz appear that the confusion is to some extent resolved. When Ignaz hears of Theres’ affair, he sets off again immediately.

Act 3. Patzmann meets Kipfl, Theres and Miss Zaschelhuberin. Kipfl asks Patzmann to put in a good word for Theres with Ignaz. Brandenburger and Edmund also beg Patzmann for help with their love affairs. Zopak and Nanny likewise are in search of advice because Babett has fled to a relative and is threatening to do away with herself should Zopak refuse to let her marry a man of unrevealed identity. At Zopak’s, Patzmann meets Peter, who confesses to Patzmann that he is in love with Nanny – still under the impression she is Patzmann’s sister. When Nanny appears, Patzmann persuades Peter to make her an offer of marriage, and to reveal himself as Nanny’s abductor to Zopak. Babett is furious at Peter’s behaviour and is glad when her father throws him out. It is discovered that Peter couldn’t have been the abductor, and Patzmann asks for Nanny’s hand in marriage – but Zopak regards him as being too good for her. [Song: Patzmann] In the end, all concerned meet at the railway station in Brünn, with Patzmann trying to ensure that as many marriages as possible are arranged before he takes the train to Vienna. First of all he brings Babett and Edmund together, and similarly is able to make Theres and Brandenburger happy by suggesting to Kipfl that he make Brandenburger into a master and thereby into a bridegroom of an appropriate class for his daughter. Patzmann then makes Zopak promise that he will let him marry Nanny, if he manages to produce her abductor, which of course isn’t hard at all. Since Ignaz and Zaschelhuberin aren’t willing to agree straight away to a union, Patzmann says he will give them time to think it over until Lundenburg, and with that they all board the train and set off. Only Peter is left behind with the thought – ‘in Vienna and Neustadt they took me for a fool, and now it seems the same has happened in Brünn’.


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