Play directory : Anatol

Welcome to The Mandy Network Plays Directory.

The information below is intended to give you a brief guide to the show and highlight some of the other The Mandy Network members who have also been involved in this show.

  • Author
    ARTHUR SCHNITZLER
  • Written
    1901
  • Setting
    late 19th-century Vienna
  • Overview
    A gadabout in late 19th-century Vienna, Anatol changes mistresses with a studied casualness, while taking a pride in his own vanity. Though he practices the arts of seduction, adultery, infidelity and betrayal, he can say with apparent sincerity, ''Women are always unfaithful to us - it comes naturally.''

    Paradoxically, in the affairs of Anatol it is the women who gain the upper hand and it is the man who is vanquished. Anatol never really knows what is happening to him. Outwardly a hedonist, he may in fact be suffering from anhedonia, and is perhaps incapable of love. Schnitzler and Freud were contemporaries and fellow admirers and as we see in ''Anatol,'' the playwright had an intuitive mastery of behavioral psychology.

    In his production - and in his performance - Mr. Lamos captures the self-deluding and self-melodramatizing aspects of Anatol, a man who in the name of romance entraps himself as victim.

    Consider Anatol in the most mirthful of the vignettes, ''Farewell Supper,'' by itself a perfect one-act comedy. With undiminishing energy he has been simultaneously balancing two affairs, and in so doing has had to have two trysts - and two suppers - every evening. Now is the time to release his late-night partner, a ballet dancer, from his thrall. He stage- manages his farewell only to learn that she has already decided to leave him for a member of the corps de ballet.

    What worries her most is not the separation from Anatol but the sacrifice of the high life she has shared with him. As Anatol tries to tell her of his decision, she can only think about champagne and oysters. Matching Mr. Lamos, step by graceful step, in this grand pas de deux, is Michele Farr, who has the charming determination of an Audrey Hepburn.

    In the other episodes, we meet the various maids, circus performers and actresses, married and single, old flames and new conquests, who inhabit Anatol's hyperactive, increasingly fretful world. While the women - each role cast and acted with precision - represent a cross-section of femininity, Anatol treats them all with equal chauvinism. Always he savors ''the delight of the moment.'' Even on the eve of his wedding day, he insists on having an extra-curricular dalliance.

    For Anatol there is no time - or cause - for introspection. Ironic commentary is supplied by his best friend, Max (a knowing performance by David Schramm). It is Max's duty to bring a note of cynicism to the romanticized surroundings. When one young woman asks if Anatol loved her, Max answers, ''Eternally - like all the others.''