Judgement Day
Book Tickets

Judgement Day

Presented by: Norwich School

Wed 7th Mar 2018 to Fri 9th Mar 2018

Price: £2.00

Running time: 2 hours

Ages: 12+

Ödön von Horváth's moral fable, as the title implies, is steeped in guilt.

 It's another normal day at a small-town station, where a handful of passengers are waiting for the stopping train. Thomas Hudetz, the well-liked station master, is momentarily distracted by a young woman. Seconds later eighteen people are dead.

Standing in the wreckage of the 405 Express, can Thomas accept the truth that is hurtling towards him? If not, how long can he postpone the day of judgment?

This production is directed by Mathilda Ziegler and performed by senior students from Norwich School

As the title implies, the play is steeped in guilt. Hudetz, a super-efficient German stationmaster, is responsible for a fatal train crash when he is diverted from duty by a kiss from Anna, the innkeeper's daughter. At the investigation, Anna perjures herself and is believed; Hudetz's embittered wife, who saw the whole incident, tells the truth and is reviled. But actions have consequences; when Hudetz returns home to a hero's welcome, he and Anna are tormented by their shared past and, in a fateful encounter under the railway viaduct, by the need for judgment.

The story itself is stark and complex. Written in 1936-7, after Horváth had been expelled by the Nazis, it clearly was inspired by his guilt at having failed to signal the catastrophe overtaking Germany. But the mutual torment of Hudetz and Anna has echoes of Zola's Thérèse Raquin, and Horváth's portrait of a venal, fickle community eerily anticipates Friedrich Dürrenmatt's The Visit. On psychological, social and historical levels, the play also argues that life is an endless chain of cause and effect. Where, asks Horváth, did the tragedy begin? As Frau Hudetz is told by her brother: "It's all connected."


  • Adult: £2.00

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