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Burgtheater star deplores chancellor's no-show

Nicholas Ofczarek has hit out at Austria’s political elite.

The celebrated actor told magazine profil that the country’s leading politicians seem to have little interest in theatrical performances at the Burgtheater, the Viennese theatre where he has been engaged since 1994. The Burgtheater is considered by many to be among the best theatre houses in German-speaking Europe.

“I’ve never seen the chancellor (Social Democrat, SPÖ, Werner Faymann) or the mayor (of Vienna, the SPÖ’s Michael Häupl) at a theatre or cinema premiere. The federal president (Heinz Fischer) enjoys going to the theatre. But apart from him, you hardly see any politicians. They don’t seem to be interested,” he said.

The actor stressed that there were exceptions like former SPÖ boss Alfred Gusenbauer and ex-parliamentary president Andreas Khol of the conservative People’s Party (ÖVP).

Ofczarek pointed out that “they all seem to go to football matches – although I doubt that all of them are interested in football. But this has a different kind of public impact, of course.”

The actor – who stars as “Jedermann” in the play of the same name by Hugo von Hofmannsthal at the Salzburg Festival (Salzburger Festspiele) – also lashed out at politicians over how they reacted when Stefan Ruzowitzky (in 2008) and Christoph Waltz (in 2010) won Academy Awards.

He said: “(The reactions) were typically Austrian – like: there you go, it works, you get an Oscar despite the little money (low public subsidies). (...) Christoph Waltz was a world-class actor before he was awarded. When he won, everyone referred to him as ‘our Austrian’ Christoph Waltz as everyone called Stefan Ruzowitzky ‘our laureate.’”

Asked whether he was worried about the possibility that right-winger Heinz-Christian Strache, who heads the Freedom Party (FPÖ), could become Austria’s next chancellor, the stage and TV star said: “I’m scared indeed. But we are living in a democracy and some people apparently want to experience Strache as chancellor. He is a populist and seems to strike the right note with many voters.”

Ofczarek told profil he was convinced that it would soon become apparent that Strache will not succeed with his points of view should he come to power. “The FPÖ was already part of a government once. What went on as far as corruption is regarded only emerges now, but people seem to be oblivious to that,” he said.

“He (Strache) claims that deporting all foreigners is the solution. That he is wrong is totally obvious,” the actor – who has delivered convincing performances in classic plays as well as modern productions – added.

Austrian Times




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Tag cloud:
president  ndash  rdquo  Stefan  Austria  chancellor  Salzburg  Burgtheater  star  Ruzowitzky  theatre  Strache  Christoph  actor  politicians  Ouml  ldquo  Waltz  rsquo  Ofczarek




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