ISBN: 9781783191451
Binding: PaperBack

Dead at Last, At Last No More Air

Werner Schwab

Translated by Meredith Oakes

Foreword by Diana Damian Martin

Werner Schwab’s final work, also known as a theatre-extinction comedy, is a brutal, irreverent and bizarrely comical piece about what happens when an emerging stage production is sabotaged by outsiders. Following a dispute with the cast, the director replaces all the actors with pensioners from a nearby home for the elderly. At first compliant and polite, the ‘forgotten and dispossessed’ gradually start to question the director’s authority, leading to a ‘coup d’état’ where the theatre’s cleaning lady is selected as the group’s leader. Not everybody survives the new order.

Werner Schwab was only thirty-five years old when he was found dead in his room following a New Year’s Eve drinking spree in 1994. He was, at the time, the undisputed star of German speaking theatre who effortlessly rose to fame for his unique talent with language and his darkly humorous, confrontational narratives. In only four years, he completed fifteen plays with Dead at Last, At Last No More Air (Endlich tot, endlich keine luftmehr) being his last.

Additional Information

ISBN13 9781783191451
Binding PaperBack


From backstage farces to postmodern deconstruction, theatre has a habit of turning its gaze on itself. This tendency is pushed to breaking point in Werner Shwab's last play...introducing European theatre in translation to British audiences is both exciting and necessary...thrilling.' What's On Stage

'Fans of anti-naturalistic, avant garde German meta-theatre would do well to head over to the [theatre]...hats off to Meredith Oakes, who must have had a few nosebleeds while translating this wild and prickly beast.' Londonist

‘Schwab uses language and humour to offer a contemporary critique of culture and politics, that is hoped will challenge audiences’. London Theatre

‘It abuses and abandons a staggering number of theatre conventions to show us the failure of established theatre to convey meaning to an audience’. Everything Theatre

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