Why See The Infernal Comedy: Confessions of a Serial Killer - John Malkovich?
'The Infernal Comedy' is the autobiography of Austrian serial killer Jack Unterweger performed on stage. Unterweger was imprisoned for murder but became a poet and writer while serving his sentence; critics loved him and intellectuals and politicians eventually got him a pardon, claiming he was an example of 'rehabilitation'.
When a dead serial killer returns to the stage to present his autobiography in a public reading, a comedy is not exactly what we are in for; but what are we demanding, anyway, if we are waiting to see a new opera/play about a murderer of women, for an orchestra on period instruments, two sopranos and one actor? The forecast changes completely if we learn that John Malkovich is going to play the role of Jack, who is launching his "Confessions of a serial killer". Now we definitely expect the unexpected. That very anticipation made me bold enough to try to write the libretto, and it helped me to finish it within a few weeks. The beginning was simple. While performing easy jokes like a stand-up comedian, Jack introduces his book, which flamboyantly he has called "The Infernal Comedy". Having come that far, the writer only had to imagine what John's Jack would be doing next; and what he did was look for the truth? Once the play was written it was a pure pleasure to direct, especially since the piece gave John room for improvisation in a literal way, which means continually improving it and making it better! Although staying perfectly faithful to direction, text and his partners on the stage, John, in every single rehearsal or performance, searched for new possibilities to surprise himself and us. Watching JohnMalkovich perform, we immediately connected to the ideal for which dramatic art is made: the presence of the moment.
Opening night: 17 November 2011
Cast and Creative
CastJack Unterweger as John Malkovich
Louise Fribo & Marie Arnet Sopranos
Wiener Akademie Orchestra
CreativeConductor: Martin Haselbock
Costumes: Birgit Hutter
Director: Michael Sturminger
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