Arthur Schnitzler - La Ronde - A Play - (5m, 5f) La Ronde (the original German name is Reigen) is a play written by Arthur Schnitzler in 1897 and first printed in 1900 for his friends. It scrutinizes the sexual morals and class ideology of its day through a series of encounters between pairs of characters (shown before or after a sexual encounter). By choosing characters across all levels of society, the play offers social commentary on how sexual contact transgresses boundaries of class. Schnitzler's play was not publicly performed until 1920, on 23 December 1920 in Berlin and 1 February 1921 in Vienna. (An unauthorized production was mounted earlier, in Budapest in 1912.) The play elicited violent critical and popular reactions against its subject matter. La Ronde (the original German name is Reigen) was made into a French language film in 1950 by the German-born director Max Ophuls. The film achieved considerable success in the English-speaking world, with the result that Schnitzler's play is better known there under its French title. Roger Vadim's film Circle of Love (1964) and Otto Schenk's Der Reigen (1973) are also based on the play. More recently, in Fernando Meirelles' film 360, Schnitzler's play was provided with a new version, as has been the case with many other TV and film productions.
The characters of Schnitzler's play talk endlessly of love, but it's sex they are after, and in the end, it is their search for it that spins them off a life-long dance. The moment he finishes with the young maid, the soldier returns to the dance hall. The young wife returns to her husband after her dalliance with the young man. The Count surely is reunited with his friend Louis, uncertain whether or not anything happened with the sleepy prostitute, who reminds him of someone he has met long ago. Was he once the young soldier of the first scene, completing the circle? In the end, Schnitzler's world is not so much an immoral one as it is a society of dissatisfied beings. Rain Taxi Review Of Books
Arthur Schnitzler (1862-1930), the Austrian author and doctor, is probably best known for his plays 'La Ronde' and 'Liebelei'. His early years were marked by a particular interest in the emergent science of psychology and his writings anticipate Freud's psychopathological theories. Stephen Unwin founded the English Touring Theatre in 1993.