Fritzl satirical play opens in Vienna

February 24th, 2009 - 2:36 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Feb 24 (ANI): A controversial stage comedy inspired by the case of Josef Fritzl, the Austrian man who fathered seven children with his daughter while keeping her captive in his cellar, has opened in Vienna.

The play, described as a satire, opened under heavy security after the director received death threats.

Originally called Pension Frizl: A Cellar Soap, the title was changed to Pension F: The Ultimate Media Satire following nationwide protests that culminated in vandalism attacks against the 3raum-anatomietheater, where the premiere is taking place in the presence of police and private security.

Hubert Hubsi Kramar, a controversial actor, has written and directed the Fritzl play and plays the main role.

Speaking on the phone from the stage immediately before the performance, Mr Kramar, 60, told The Telegraph: “I have received anonymous death threats, the exterior of the theatre was vandalised, and people ripped the promotion posters and put glue in the lock of the stage entrance door.”

He said tickets for the first night had sold out, mainly to foreign journalists.

Kramar, a Harvard graduate, said that he had to hire a private security company, in addition to requesting police protection, in order to guarantee the safety of his ensemble and the theatre staff.

“It is all a result of a smear campaign after the tabloid press immediately assumed it was an incest comedy poking fun at the victims of a terrible crime, which is of course not true.

“The piece is actually based on the media coverage of the case, it is a satire that deals with the depiction of victims and perpetrators and culminates in a tragedy about the role of media and politics,” Kramar said.

Fritzl, 73, a retired engineer and property developer, will appear in court on March 16 for incarcerating his daughter Elisabeth, 42, for over 24 years in a purpose-built concrete dungeon connected to the cellar beneath his home in the town of Amstetten.

He has been charged with murder, as well as false imprisonment, rape, incest, slavery and coercion. (ANI)

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