Woody Sez

The internationally acclaimed hit folk musical comes to Vienna

Widely regarded as one of the leading exponents of American folk music, Woody Guthrie’s infectiously uplifting toe-tapping lyrics are set to thrust theatregoers into a world of raucous American spirit, but beneath the fiddles and the pennywhistles lies an undeniable rebellious political subtext. The show serves as a mouthpiece for all the “Okies” enduring economic hardship during the Great Depression, as they left choking dust storms and ruined farmland in hope of finding prosperity in California. Sticking it to the urban elite, or as Guthrie put it: “singin’ for the plain folks and gettin’ in trouble with the rich folks,” the show chronicles his irrepressible wanderlust and burgeoning social activism with 25 of his most famous songs, including This Land is Your Land.

As a young man traipsing through the “Dirty Thirties,” singing for sandwiches and nickels became a necessity. Unsatisfied with slim pickings, Guthrie made contributions to the Communist newspaper People’s World, where he experimented in his column,“Woody Sez”, with his trademark exaggerated hillbilly dialect – inspiring many others since, including the likes of Johnny Cash, Billy Bragg, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Sammy Walker.

Now, the task is left in the capable hands of the tremendously talented “Woody Sez” quartet who are set to whip up a folk-frenzy with 20 different instruments. This ambitious production made its debut at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2007 and his since revived the musical legend’s unassailable lyricism in over fifty cities in the U.S., rambling and roaming the Middle East, China and Europe. Sure to kick up the dust with foot-stomping rhythms while subverting the status quo, it stays true to Guthrie’s famous inscription on his guitar: This machine kills fascists.

Sept 13 – Oct 22, Vienna’s English Theatre

Genevieve Doyle
Genevieve Doyle is writing for METROPOLE on her summer off from reading English Literature at The University of Cambridge. When she isn’t attending fairs to buy and source beautiful antiques and textiles, she likes painting murals and walking her very large Irish deerhound.
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