Afterlife

by  Michael Frayn

Full Length Play, Drama  /  6m, 2f

"In his seventy-fifth year Michael Frayn has produced a minor masterpiece, and maybe not so minor either. I'd guess Afterlife is the best verse drama in English since T.S. Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral..." - New Stateman

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    6m, 2f
  • Duration

    Duration

    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Biography, Period, Docudrama/Historic
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

A man who has everything. Money, friends, a beautiful home. And then – pfft! It's all vanished. Max Reinhardt, one the greatest impresarios of theatrical history, had a lifelong ambition – to dissolve the boundary between theatre and the world it portrays. Each year at the Salzburg Festival he directed the famous morality play, Everyman, about God sending Death to summon a representative of mankind for judgment. The victim he chooses is a man who, like Reinhardt, rejoices in his wealth and all the pleasures that money can buy. Then in 1938 Hitler declares his own day of reckoning and sends Death into Austria - whereupon Reinhardt, a Jew, is left as naked and vulnerable as Everyman himself. Michael Frayn's Afterlife is the story of how Reinhardt achieves his great ambition; though in a way he can scarcely have foreseen.
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Reviews

REVIEWS

"In his seventy-fifth year Michael Frayn has produced a minor masterpiece, and maybe not so minor either. I'd guess Afterlife is the best verse drama in English since T.S. Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral..." - New Stateman

"A magnificent new play...Frayn exploits to chilling effect the ambiguous border between playing and reality." - Times Literary Supplement

"Afterlife...Michael Frayn's tremendous new play is a piece of history...with sharp style and thrilling clarity" - The New York Times

"Reinhardt describes himself as someone whose goal is to "break the bonds twixt world and dream," and Afterlife obliges him by turning his own story into an "Everyman" drama, a consideration of the transience of life and the inevitably of death, often delivered in rhymed couplets—It's clever and, as you might expect from Mr. Frayn, impeccably executed." - London Theatre Journal

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Cautions

  • Caution Alcohol Alcohol
  • Caution Strong Language Strong Language
  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $100 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1940s / WWII
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Music

  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Chorus Size: N/A (Not a musical)

Casting

6m, 2f

MAX REINHARDT
HELENE THIMIG - his companion and then second wife
GUSTI ADLER - his personal assistant
RUDOLF ‘KATIE’ KOMMER - his man of business
FRANZ - his valet
THE PRINCE ARCHBISHOP OF SALZBURG
FRIEDRICH MULLER - a citizen of Salzburg
THOMAS - footman, assistant, voice, etc.
JOSEF, LIESL, GRETL, and OTHERS

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Cast Attributes

  • Room for Extras
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)

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Authors

Michael Frayn

Michael Frayn was born in London in 1933. He began his career as a reporter for the Guardian and later the Observer. After leaving the Observer he continued to write as a columnist as well as publishing novels and plays for television and stage. His plays for stage include: Copenhagen, After Life, The Two of Us, Alph ...

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Afterlife was first produced in the Lyttelton auditorium of the National Theatre, London, on June 11, 2008. The performance was directed by Michael Blakemore.

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