Wider aller Vernunft:
Vienna‘s English Theatre

What happens when two passionate theater devotees fall in love and want not only to live but, under any circumstances, work together?

They found – against all odds – a theatre. In 1963 Franz Schafranek and his wife, Ruth Brinkmann, opened Vienna’s English Theatre. Originally planned as a summer diversion for English-speaking tourists, it rapidly developed into a theatrical and social institution – not least because the program was and remains absorbing and the performers outstanding. It goes without saying that the theater’s dedicated managers expanded their offerings over time: the school tours were initiated and plays were produced in French as well as Italian. World premieres of works by Tennessee Williams and Edward Albee, and the appearance of prominent guests such as Grace Patricia of Monaco, Jeanne Moreau, Anthony Quinn, Dame Judi Dench and Jean Paul Belmondo, added to the luster of Vienna’s rich cultural scene. In 2003 the theatre celebrated its 40th anniversary under its present director, Julia Schafranek – high time to give this event its proper due with an engaging and comprehensive chronicle.



Julia Schafranek, the daughter of the VET’s founders – Frank Schafranek and Ruth Brinkmann – was born in 1967. Brought up in its polyglot ambience, she was able to assist her mother in directing the well-established theatre after her father’s death in 1991. Since the death of Ruth Brinkmann in 1997, she has been sole manager of VET.

back to the top