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Hinüber – Herüber…

[Image:Moving Theatre logo]Hinüber – Herüber – Hinüber – Herüber
That way, this way

Comic intermezzo in 1 Act.
By Johann Nestroy

Funded by

Arts council of England

Austrian Cultural Forum

The innkeeper
The innkeeper’s wife
Their daughter
The glass blower
His wife
The tenant farmer
The waiter
The waiter’s boy
The house boy
First and second travellers

The action takes place in the inn of a small market town.

Two travellers look on while the innkeeper sells some land for 5000 Gilders to a tenant farmer. Both travellers do all they can to present themselves as rich gentlemen – without having any intention of paying for the good food and fine wine that they consume. They tell stories of bets, merely reinforcing the innkeeper’s impression that they are rich Englishmen. One of the strangers boldly claims that the clock in the inn reminds him of an apparently easy bet that he once lost. The bet was that he could not keep up saying ‘That way, this way’ in time with the swing of the pendulum – and he claims that he managed it for ten minutes, but then someone shouted fire, distracting him – with the result that he lost £500.

The innkeeper arrogantly assures the strangers that he would win such a bet, suggesting the winner receive 300 Gilders. At that moment, the clock strikes 5, and he begins straight away. Nothing disturbs the innkeeper: he carries on chanting, even when the arrival of a court official is announced. Nor does the news that the strangers have disappeared, taking with them his 5000 Gilders, distract him. Franz follows, hard on the heels of the two rogues. After fifteen minutes of chanting, the innkeeper declares himself the lucky winner, and only then notices the disappearance of the strangers and the money. Nevertheless, the innkeeper refuses to believe that the ‘noble Englishmen’ are thieves. He makes a new bet with his wife – if he is right, then she will do what she can to calm down the irritated court official, but if they turn out to be scoundrels, he will let his daughter marry Franz, with whom she is in love, rather than a man of his choosing. At that moment, Franz appears with the news that they have arrested the thieves, who have confessed their crimes to the judge. The daughter and Franz in particular are extremely happy at the way events have turned out.


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