The war is over and Gabriel Dan is coming home. He stations himself in a small Eastern provincial town, ‘a city of rain and hopelessness’. He checks into the Savoy Hotel for a few days rest after a long journey. He hopes to see a wealthy relative, who lives in the city, to get money for his onward journey. When his plan doesn’t work, Gabriel Dan ends up staying in the Savoy Hotel for a few weeks, and on his strolls through the different floors and rooms he meets various strange guests: a secretive lift attendant, a dreamer hoping to win the lottery, a beautiful variety dancer, a prompter, who really wants to be a director and a dying clown, who is producing art with his gloomy donkey. The world has been turned upside down, and the hotel guests are waiting for huge change, and the arrival of American billionaires. “These huge events continue to be somewhat surprising, and every expectation only causes hesitation.” Gabriel Dan runs into his old comrade Zwonimir Pansin, who allowed the Savoy Hotel to go to ruin, who is excited by love and restless as an agitator: “The revolution is here.”
In a letter to his publisher, Joseph Roth writes: “I don’t have a homeland, apart from the fact that I feel at home in my own skin. If I leave myself, I will lose myself too. Therefore, I’m always extremely careful to remain true to myself.”
Charlotte Sprenger has adapted Joseph Roth’s ‘Savoy Hotel’ (1924) for the stage. The novel is set between two wars and portrays a generation that has lost its homeland and is heading into an uncertain future.
Premiere 11th September 2022, Thalia Gauss