Sankt Falstaff (SAINT FALSTAFF)

by Ewald Palmetshofer freely adapted after Shakespeare’s «King Henry IV»
Fri 17 Jan
by Ewald Palmetshofer freely adapted after Shakespeare’s «King Henry IV»
World Premiere/Commissioned Work
Premiere 17. January 2025

The coup has worked. Multiple crises and arm’s length subversion strategies have swept away the old regime. Like a would-be king, Heinrich Bolingbrock rules the country with his followers. But he is ageing and there is no suitable successor in sight. In the shadows of this stumbling administation, Frau Flott’s container pub business is booming. Here John, an imposing figure in every sense of the word, and his close friend Harri party all night – an odd couple with a shared taste for sharp-tongued wit and large quantities of beer. When Harri suddenly receives an immoral proposal from the centre of power, it casts a new light not only on the future of the state, but also John’s friendship with Harri. Will he rise up along with Harri or shouldn’t he rather grab the offspring of this illiberal regime by the crotch? Potenially at the cost of his own downfall?


«Coarsened politics produces coarsened voters. Not the other way round. But how can we resist this psychopolitics of extremism? Perhaps we can learn from John Falstaff in his pub because his heart is genuinely bigger and more incorruptible than even his inventor Shakespeare dared believe: defying toxic times to remain atoxic down to the last fibre of his being.»

Ewald Palmetshofer


With linguistic panache and broad comedy the Austrian playwright Ewald Palmetshofer transposes Shakespeare’s history play, a suprising combination of royal drama and comedy, into the near future. Palmetshofer’s new version asks about the (im-)possibility of love in impossible times, a theme that recurs in this season’s two other great Shakespearean works – «A Midsummer Night’s Dream» and «Romeo and Juliet» – albeit with different outcomes.

Artistic Direction

Stage Design Daniel Wollenzin
Costume Design Claudia Irro
Music Benedikt Brachtel,  Sven Michelson
Dramaturgy Constanze Kargl