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Heimliches Geld, heimliche Liebe

[Image:Moving Theatre logo]Heimliches Geld, heimliche Liebe
Secret Money, Secret Love

A Farce with songs in 3 Acts
By Johann Nestroy
Premiere: 16th March 1853

Funded by

Arts council of England

Austrian Cultural Forum

Herr von Makler, an investor
Hortensia, his wife
Frau von Lärminger, a coppersmith's widow
Marie, her stepdaughter
Herr von Flau, their guardian
Peter Dickkopf, formerly a grocer,
Casimir Dachl, his stepson, apprentice coppersmith (originally played by Nestroy)
Franz Glimmer, his nephew
Pemperer, Werckführer,
Leni, his daughter, a cook
Natzl, apprentice coppersmiths
Therese, housekeeper to Frau von Lärminger
Frau Körbl, herbalist, a widow
Gottfriedl, her son
Pfanzer, caretaker
Regerl, his wife
Nettl, cooks
Bittmann, a petitioner
Staub, a clerk
Niklas, a servant
A notary, cooks, coppersmiths

Scene: A large provincial town.

Not to be recommended. A ludicrously complicated plot that is almost impossible to follow at times. Some sections are interesting: for example, the letter-writer Dickkopf is promised a reward if he can help Frau von Lärminger win Casimir (the Nestroy role) as husband. Casimir is in love with the illiterate Leni and she with him. Leni dictates a love letter to Dickkopf. When Dickkopf hears the name of the addressee he spills the inkpot over the letter, apparently accidentally, and assures Leni that he will write out the letter again and send it off. Naturally the content of the letter is very different this time, designed to nip the relationship in the bud and free Casimir for Frau von Lärminger. Soon after, Leni brings Dickkopf a letter she has received from Casimir and asks him to read it to her. Dickkopf reads Casimir's love declaration in silence, then tears up the letter and tells Leni her beloved has written that he is dumping her for a rich widow.
But there are very convoluted plot strands involving grudges going back many years between the Glimmer and the Lärminger families that are extremely difficult to follow, and there are several occasions where characters mask their real feelings at precisely the moment when one is longing to understand the plot.


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