Touring / Orpheus In The Underworld

Jan 26, 2025 to Mar 31, 2025

Operetta by Jacques Offenbach with additional material by Toby Park, Aitor Basauri, Marcel Mohab, Georg Wachs & Caroline Richards

Directed by Toby Park & Aitor Basauri for Spymonkey

Designed by Julian Crouch

Choreography by Gail Skrela

Lighting design by Tim Van’t Hof

Our Orpheus is back! After wowing audiences and critics alike on its January 2023 opening, the sell-out smash hit of the Vienna Volksoper is back by popular demand.

The Volksoper says:

“There is none of the mythical world of earlier settings in Offenbach’s work. In his Orpheus in the Underworld, first performed in 1858 in the Parisian theatre of the “Bouffes-Parisiens”, we experience Orpheus as a bored music teacher and Eurydice as his wife who is annoyed by him. When Eurydice goes to hell, nothing could please her husband more! But public opinion compels Orpheus to reclaim his wife from Jupiter, the father of the gods. Bored with nectar and ambrosia, the whole family of gods joins Orpheus on his way to the underworld. In Offenbach’s work, which is considered the first operetta in history, one can laugh about dreary marriages as well as about screwed-up gods and a party-addicted underworld.

“This comedic masterpiece is directed by Spymonkey, UK’s leading company for physical comedy. Orpheus in the Underworld marks the group’s first production at an opera house. “Orpheus in the Underworld is a perfect fit for our comedic signature,” says Toby Park, one of the artistic directors. “As a parody of antiquity and a travesty of myth, the play presents a world that everyone knows and intelligently turns it on its head. That’s exactly how our performative language and form of comedy work too!” The Volksoper ensemble unleashes its true clown potential in this production.”

Preview video: 



“The Volksoper succeeds in a triumph of comedy: this is how you play operetta! Racy, dust-free, modern and colourful – grandiose entertainment theatre of the highest level. Pure joy! The direction is simply brilliant, full of imagination that reveals itself in the details, full of bizarre ideas and gags that only comedians in the British tradition can invent. And how fantastic: nothing, absolutely nothing, is taken away from the piece as a result. Offenbach’s ‘Orpheus’ remains Offenbach’s ‘Orpheus’, a musical theatre of pleasure, of wit, of winking frivolity.” Wiener Zeitung, 23.1.2023


“The British directing team Toby Park & Aitor Basauri, world famous as Spymonkey, have proved themselves, turbo-charging this Volksoper production of Jacques Offenbach’s ‘Orpheus in the Underworld’. Together with Julian Crouch, one of the most extravagant of set designers, they bring the depraved ancient world of the gods with all its whims, immoralities and erotic deceit to the Währinger Gürtel.” Kronen Zeitung, 23.1.2023


“A rare chance to see so much hilarious silliness and delightful British slapstick on an Austrian stage… Hooray!” Kurier, 23/11/2023


“Laughter like this is rare to hear at the Volksoper… Virtuoso comedy.” Der Standard, 23.1.2023


“An exuberant celebration of stage craft.”


“A British stage delight!” Kronen Zeitung, 23.1.2023


“Aitor Basauri and Toby Park, as Spymonkey, have ventured into a new realm this time – and with Offenbach have actually found what they want with their own theatre: To make plays that stand on their heads. So you can experience a tour de force between Monty Python humour and the Gallopp Infernal, understood in a completely Viennese sense. Not everything will turn out so badly in the end.”


“Hedwig Ritter sings Eurydice with a soaring radiance that is breathtaking, and proves herself a true comedienne! The entire ensemble sings and plays brilliantly. The ensemble is simply perfect, down to the smallest supporting role, to the chorus rehearsed by Roger Díaz-Cajamarca. And the choreography by Gail Skrela is ravishing, allowing the Vienna State Ballet to shine, both as sheep and bacchants in the cancan.” Wiener Zeitung, 23.1.2023


“Images that made the premiere audience cheer enthusiastically. Instead of boring us with director’s theatre, Crouch dares to transport us to a riotously kitsch antiquity, from a sugar-coloured sky full of columns to a weird underworld cabaret. Fun is the trump card!” Kronen Zeitung, 23.1.2023

Show dates
Sep 24, 2023
Sep 27, 2023
Sep 30, 2023
Oct 04, 2023
Click here to read more about our show

Orpheus in the Underworld