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Authors: Elfriede Jelinek

Sports Play

BOOK: Sports Play
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Just a Must in partnership with the Austrian Cultural Forum
London presents the English-language premiere of


by Elfriede Jelinek

Translated by Penny Black

with translation assistance and a foreword

by Karen Jürs-Munby

First performed at Live at LICA (Nuffield Theatre),
Lancaster on 11 July 2012.

11 July
Live at LICA (Nuffield Theatre), Lancaster
01524 594151

13 July
The Maltings Theatre & Cinema
(Henry Travers Studio), Berwick-upon-Tweed
01289 330 999

19-20 July
Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff
029 2031 1050

23-24 July
The Bike Shed Theatre, Exeter
01392 434 169

30 July-4 August
Chelsea Theatre, London
020 7352 1967


Elfriede Jelinek
Translated by Penny Black
with translation assistance by Karen Jürs-Munby

Victim/Chorus Member
Michael Cole
Young Woman/Chorus Member
Nina Hatchwell
Elfi Elektra
Denise Heinrich Lane
Achilles/Sportsman/Chorus Leader
Tom Lyall
Hector/Man/Chorus Member
Matt Ray-Brown
Woman/Chorus Member
Delia Remy
Andi/Chorus Member
Giorgio Spiegelfeld

Director: Vanda Butkovic

Producer: Berislav Juraic

Dramaturg: Karen Jürs-Munby

Scenographer and Video Designer: Simon Donger

Costume Designer: Meni Kourmpeti

Lighting Designer: Ana Vilar

Stage Manager: Jessica Thanki

Vocal Coach: Adrienne Smook

Assistant Director: Jari Laakso

Production: Just a Must in partnership
with the Austrian Cultural Forum London


lfriede Jelinek was born on 20 October 1946 in the town of Mürzzuschlag in the Austrian province of Styria. Her father, of Czech-Jewish origin, was a chemist and worked in strategically important industrial production during the Second World War, thereby escaping persecution. Her mother was from a prosperous Vienna family, and Elfriede grew up and went to school in that city. At an early age, she was instructed in piano, organ and recorder and went on to study composition at the Vienna Conservatory. After graduating from the Albertsgymnasium in 1964, she studied theatre and art history at the University of Vienna while continuing her music studies.

Elfriede Jelinek began writing poetry while still young. She made her literary debut with the collection
Lisas Schatten
in 1967. Through contact with the student movement, her writing took a socially critical direction. In 1970 came her satirical novel
wir sind lockvögel baby!
. In common with her next novel
, Michael. Ein Jugendbuch für die Infantilgesellschaft
(1972), it had a character of linguistic rebellion, aimed at popular culture and its mendacious presentation of the good life.

After a few years spent in Berlin and Rome in the early 1970s, Jelinek married Gottfried Hüngsberg, and divided her time between Vienna and Munich. She conquered the German literary public with her novels
Die Liebhaberinnen
Women as Lovers
, 1994),
Die Ausgesperrten
Wonderful, Wonderful Times
, 1990) and the autobiographically based
Die Klavierspielerin
The Piano Teacher
, 1988), in 2001 made into an acclaimed film by Michael Haneke. These novels, each within the framework of its own problem complex, present a pitiless world where the reader is confronted with a locked-down regime of violence and submission, hunter and prey. Jelinek demonstrates how the entertainment industry's clichés seep into people's consciousness and paralyse opposition to class injustices and gender oppression. In
, 1992), Jelinek lets her social analysis swell to fundamental criticism of civilisation by describing sexual violence against women as the actual template for our culture. This line is maintained, seemingly in a lighter tone, in
Gier. Ein Unterhaltungsroman
(2000), a study in the cold-blooded practice of male power.
With special fervour, Jelinek has castigated Austria, depicting it as a realm of death in her phantasmagorical novel,
Die Kinder der Toten
(1995). Jelinek is a highly controversial figure in her homeland. Her writing builds on a lengthy Austrian tradition of linguistically sophisticated social criticism, with precursors such as Johann Nepomuk Nestroy, Karl Kraus, Ödön von Horváth, Elias Canetti, Thomas Bernhard and the Wiener Group.

The nature of Jelinek's texts is often hard to define. They shift between prose and poetry, incantation and hymn, they contain theatrical scenes and filmic sequences. The primacy in her writing has however moved from novel-writing to drama. Her first radio play,
wenn die sonne sinkt ist für manche schon büroschluss
, was very favourably received in 1974. She has since written a large number of pieces for radio and the theatre, in which she successively abandoned traditional dialogues for a kind of polyphonic monologues that do not serve to delineate roles but to permit voices from various levels of the psyche and history to be heard simultaneously. What she puts on stage in plays like
Wolken.Heim, Ein Sportstück, Das Werk, Ulrike Maria Stuart, Rechnitz (Der Würgeengel), Winterreise
and others are less characters than “language interfaces” confronting each other. One of Jelinek's most recent plays,
Die Kontrakte des Kaufmanns (The Merchant's Contracts, a Comedy of Economics)
written in 2008 before the fall of Lehman Brothers, deals with the mechanisms which lead to the global financial crisis.

Jelinek has translated others' works (Thomas Pynchon, Georges Feydeau, Eugène Labiche, Christopher Marlowe, Oscar Wilde) and has also written film scripts and an opera libretto. Alongside her literary writing she has made a reputation as a dauntless polemicist, with a website always poised to comment on burning issues.

Literary Prizes and Awards include: The Young Austrian Culture Week Poetry and Prose Prize (1969), the Austrian University Students' Poetry Prize (1969), the Austrian State Literature Stipendium (1972), the City of Stadt Bad Gandersheim's Roswitha Memorial Medal (1978), The West German Interior Ministry Prize for Film Writing (1979), the West German Ministry of Education and Art Appreciation Prize (1983), the City of Cologne Heinrich Böll Prize (1986), the Province of Styria Literature Prize (1987), the City of Vienna
Literature Appreciation Prize (1989), the City of Aachen Walter Hasenclever Prize (1994), the City of Bochum Peter Weiss Prize (1994), the Bremer Literature Prize (1996), the Georg Büchner Prize (1998), the Berlin Theatre Prize (2002), the City of Düsseldorf Heinrich Heine Prize (2002), the Mülheimer Theatre Prize (2002, 2004, 2009, 2011), the Else Lasker Schüler Prize (for her entire dramatic work), Mainz (2003), the Lessing Critics' Prize, Wolfenbüttel (2004), the Stig Dagerman Prize, Älvkarleby (2004), The Blind War Veterans' Radio Theatre Prize, Berlin (2004), The Franz-Kafka Literature Prize, Prag (2004), The Nobel Prize for Literature, Stockholm (2004).


Michael Cole
(Victim/Chorus Member)

Michael has a BA in Theatre Studies from Lancaster University.
Theatre credits include:
by David Mamet, R.P McMurphy in
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
(Lancaster University Theatre Group), Ferdinand in a contemporary version of
The Duchess Of Malfi
(Bedlam Theatre, Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2011), Martin Crimp's A
ttempts on Her Life
Closed Doors
(Lancaster University), a devised piece performed in Bowland Tower, Lancaster.

Nina Hatchwell
(Young Woman/Chorus Member)
Nina trained at Italia Conti and completed her postgraduate acting diploma at Webber Douglas. She is an actress, writer, singer/songwriter and film director. She regularly trains with Neighborhood Playhouse director Scott Williams at the Impulse Company in London.
Theatre credits include:
Viola in
Twelfth Night
dir. David Salter, Beth in
A Lie of the Mind
dir. Stuart Wood, Hester/Lady Stuttfield in
A Woman of No Importance
and Nora in
Stuetzen der Gesellschaften
TV credits include:
Emily in Episode 5 series 3 of hit sitcom
Arab Labor
in Israel.
Film credits include
6 Tales of the Supernatural
Can't Commit
, both directed by Daniel Johnson,
First Light
dir. Tom Calder and
A Morass
dir. Shane Bordas. She recently starred in her writing/ directorial debut film
You Look Stunning
(UK entry for short film at the Cannes Film Festival 2011).

Denise Heinrich Lane
(Elfi Elektra)
Denise Heinrich Lane trained in both acting and fine art. After leaving Webber Douglas she toured extensively with the original Cherub Company including: Chaste Maide in
A Chaste Maide in Cheapside
and Ophelia in
. Following a period at Theatr Clwyd she went to Goldsmiths then completed an MA in Critical Studies at Wimbledon.
Theatre and performance credits include:
Rocket Girl, The Green Lady in the Tree
(Clissold Park, Stoke Newington Festival),
Soft Nostomania
(East End Collaborations),
A Little Noiseless Noise Among The Leaves
(Abney Park Cemetery, Stoke Newington Festival). Work with the New Factory includes Kruchonykh's futurist opera
Victory Over the Sun, General Strike 1926
Lenin in London
playing Nadia Krupskaya.
Other recent credits include:
Sulpetia in Fletcher's
Custom of the Country
and Carolina in Ioli Andreadri's
Best Friends Forever
. She also co-wrote, devised and performed the Dada-inspired
Le Donne
in a wide variety of venues.

Tom Lyall
(Achilles/Sportsman/Chorus Leader)
Tom trained at LAMDA and Ecole Philippe Gaulier.
Theatre credits include:
(Tom Lyall);
The Devil Gets All the Best Tunes
(Mighty Fin);
(Headlong/The Gate);
Money, Amato Saltone, The Tennis Show
Longwave, Weepie, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, The Consolations
(Signal to Noise);
Escapology, Napoleon in Exile
I Wonder Sometimes Who I Am, Figments, The Last Man, Klamm's Dream
(Mischa Twitchin);
Donkey Shadow
(Petra's Pulse);
The Terrific Electric
The Prometheus Experiment, Invitation to a Beheading
(Discreet Theatre);
I Am a Cloud
(Song Theatre);
(Six of One);
Pelleas and Melisande
(Beguiled Eye);
Alice in Wonderland
(Forbidden Theatre);
Princess Plimsole
Closer to Ormsby
(Glen Neath). He appears in the short films
12 Sketches on the Impossibility of Being Still
The Space Between Us
(dir. Magali Charrier).

Matt Ray-Brown
(Hector/Man/Chorus Member)
Matt trained with the Actors Company at the London Centre for Theatre Studies.
Theatre credits include
A Do-Gooder
(Albany Theatre),
Murder Me Gently
(Mumford Theatre),
A Winter's Tale
Romeo and Juliet
(Saffron Walden),
A Midsummer Night's Dream
(Ocras Theatre open air tour),
(Sir John Mills Theatre),
Romeo and Juliet
(Cambridge Touring Theatre) and
The Bright & Bold Design
(Jermyn Street).
Film credits include:
The Die is Cast, Shelter, FIT, Angel, Esther's Funeral, The Adventures of George the Projectionist, Freeride
. Matt has worked extensively on new writing for companies in London and East Anglia including Central School of Speech and Drama, Just Jones & Woven Theatre, Menagerie Theatre and WriteOn! in his home town of Cambridge. He is a fluent speaker of French and German, with credits in both languages, and is a regular voice for English as a Foreign Language teaching materials.

Delia Remy
(Woman/Chorus Member)
Delia studied drama in Lyon, France, and came to London in 2003 to explore the possibilities of physical theatre.
Theatre credits include:
French diva in
Many A Slipped
(Sadler's Wells), a young man, Tokubei, in
Love Suicides at Sonezaki
by Chikamatsu (Wilton's Music Hall), the title role in Racine's
and Sophocles'
, Strophe in
Phaedra's Love
by Sarah Kane, Alice Freud in
Sketching Lucian
, Rosa Luxemburg in
and the Rose in
The Little Prince
by St Exupery and P. Joucla. She has worked with visual artists (JocJonJosch) and photographers (Joschi Herczeg, Miki Soejima), and has taken part in several site-specific events by Secret Cinema (
Battle of Algiers, The Third Man
Film and commercial credits include:
Miss Rose
Hippie Hippie Shake
(Beeban Kidron, Universal), the wife in a commercial against domestic violence created by
London to Brighton
director Paul Andrew Williams, Tranquillity in the emotional triptych
Shard Drops
(Akolight), Marina in
Milk Man
(Rumjam), French in
The Proposal
(Rumjam) and Emily in
(Artgym). She also works as an assistant director and a translator.

Giorgio Spiegelfeld
(Andi/Chorus Member)
Giorgio was born in Vienna, Austria. At the age of 18 he moved to Barcelona, Spain where he studied performance and film. Two years later he relocated to Cuernavaca, Mexico to continue his studies in performing arts for a year which he later completed at the Hochschule fuer Musik und Theater in Zurich, Switzerland. There he became a member of the Theater an der Sihl, he performed in Rainer Werner Fassbinder's play
Preparadise Sorry Now
(Schauspielhaus Zurich). After finishing his studies, he worked for two years as a resident actor at the Schauburg Muenchen. In 2009 he moved to London where he has been working as a freelance actor in theatre, film and TV. He has worked with directors such as Yoshi Oida, Fernando Meirelles, Fredi M. Murer and Beat Faeh.

BOOK: Sports Play
13.41Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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