A Farce with songs in 3 Acts
Scene: The action takes place on the estate Frau von Cypressenburg near a large town
Act 1. [Chorus] - All the young
people in the village make
fun of Salome because of her red hair. Another redhead, the barber
Titus Feuerfuchs (lit. Firefox), has just arrived in the village and
in song the people who ostracize him because of the colour of his
hair. - [Song, Titus] - He bumps into Plutzerkern, who assumes he is
apprentice gardener on Frau von Cypressenburg's estate. Titus shows
interest in the job. Salome, seeing in Titus a fellow sufferer, tries
to get him
a job at the bakery, but the baker refuses to employ a redhead.
Act 2. - [Chorus] - Constantia,
Frau von Cypressenburg's lady-in-waiting, is equally attracted by Titus'
black hair and employs him to hunt
on the estate. Like Flora, she gives him her dead husband's suit
with further heavy hints about marriage and permanent employment.
- When Salome comes to the estate looking for her red-headed friend,
astonished to see him in a black wig, but decides not to give him
away. Then Monsieur Marquis arrives, and immediately recognizes
the wig and
its wearer. However, he whispers that he will also keep Titus'
secret as long as he keeps his filthy hands off Constantia, with whom
hairdresser has been having an affair. But Marquis happens to hear
in his sleep about Constantia, and gently removes the wig and leaves
Act 3. Titus has been thrown off the
been made to return the suits. Salome meanwhile meets Spund,
Titus' uncle and only relative, who has often berated his nephew over
his hair. Spund has inherited a large sum of money and wants
to set Titus up in business so that he can make a modest living and
shame on the family. When Spund hears that Titus is working as
a servant on the estate, he dashes there to free him from this ignominious
When they hear at the mansion about this rich relation, Titus
is immediately asked to return. To spare them the sight of his red
hair, he innocently
dons the dead gardener's grey wig. Meanwhile Flora, Constantia
(who has been dumped by the hairdresser) and even Frau von Cypressenburg
all come independently to the conclusion that red hair is actually
quite becoming on a rich man.
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