A Farce with songs in 2 Acts
Act 1. Count
Hohenstern warns his elder son Friedrich not to ruin his last chance
of a really good match by indulging his taste for affairs. The young
man has already damaged his prospects more than once in this way,
and the Count threatens to disinherit him in favour of his younger
Paul if it happens again. Friedrich assures him that he is a reformed
character and is too much in love with Lady Bridewell to consider
being unfaithful. - However, Baroness von Kargenhausen and her secretary
(Fox) are plotting to prevent the marriage so that Paul, who is courting
her daughter Adele, may benefit.
Act 2. Fuchs and Paul hatch a new plot and target Restl's daughter Linerl. They persuade her that, at a time of such political and social upheaval, Heigeign's political aspirations have inevitably got him into serious trouble, and that only she can save him by personally intervening with young Baron Friedrich. - At the same time Friedrich is told that her ladyship, out of jealousy, has been secretly keeping a young woman captive on her estate. He is asked to meet this person in a nocturnal rendezvous. - At the same time Lady Bridewell is warned by Adele and her mother that Friedrich is being unfaithful to her, a fact she can ascertain for herself by spying on his secret assignation with a young woman. - Fuchs then bullies and cajoles Heugeign into costuming the mysterious young woman, and since Linerl is heavily disguised he fails to recognize his own fiancee, though her measurements do seem rather familiar. He is ordered to make her a fairy costume exactly like that worn by her ladyship at the ball, and he decides to alter the existing one.- Meanwhile Atworth has discovered the plot and alerts Lady Bridewell. Through her confidante Miss Kemble, Heigeign is told some of the details, specifically Linerl's involvement and her assignation with Friedrich. When the arranged assignation takes place, it is actually Heugeign masquerading as Friedrich and Lady Bridewell as Linerl, though each thinks he/she is dealing with the real Friedrich and the real Lady Bridewell, and they part thinking that the other is being unfaithful. Matters are resolved when the real Friedrich arrives, though not before a manhunt is instigated for the fellow who dared to impersonate the Baron's son. As Atworth is convinced it must have been Fuchs, Heugeign is spared further explanation. Renouncing a career in politics, he promises his bride and father-in-law that he will take over the tailoring business. Friedrich and Lady Bridewell are married.
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