Yardheads is producing a full-length theatrical performance of the play ‘The Last Days of Mankind‘ with Leith Theatre in November 2018 in a collaboration with international theatre-makers and creatives, local performers and technical participants. The play was written 100 years ago by Karl Kraus, a Viennese writer who published his own journal with a critical and satirical view on newspapers, social climbers and other writers and poets who supported the First World War and in his view perpetuated. The English translation being used was completed in parts in 2014 and 2016 by Patrick Healy of November Editions
The show is part of a wider programme of cultural activity, ‘Café Europa’ which brings theatre-makers from Germany, Poland, Serbia, Ireland, Ukraine and France, over a 12-month period, including shorter presentations and discussion of themes and issues around conflict, trauma and hope alongside further performances of ‘The Last Days of Mankind’ in Bielefeld, Germany and Katowice, Poland.
The collaborating groups are Theaterlabor, Germany; Teatr A Part, Poland; Plavo Povoriste, Serbia; Smashing Times, Dublin; Kultura Medialna, Ukraine.
The project team heard in late July that application to Creative Europe for funding has been successful and this means the overall project is moving forward.
‘Café Europa/ Project 1568’ will be an international cultural collaboration taking place this November in Scotland supported by the Creative Europe ‘Cultural Cooperation Project 2018 Year of Cultural Heritage’ programme of the European Union and Creative Scotland Open Projects Fund. Artists from Scotland, Germany, Poland, Serbia and Ireland are working towards an exciting full-scale premiere of ‘The Last Days of Mankind’ by the Viennese writer Karl Kraus, adapted from a new translation by Patrick Healy, published by November Editions in 2016.
Project 1568 is a bold project to create theatre for new audiences and participants in the Armistice Centenary year. Our work will develop a theatrical presentation based on carefully identified literature and delivered through transnational creative collaboration. The project draws on three years of cultural exchange and exploration, working towards a European reflection on the events of WW1, the contexts, and responses of the times and subsequent reflections.
“Drama is made serious … not by the degree in which it is taken up with problems that are serious in themselves, but by the degree in which it gives the nourishment, not easy to define, on which our imaginations live” – JM Synge*
*found on p. 15 in Michael Russell, ‘The Last Days of Mankind – The Last Night” (Forgotten Cities Press, 2014)