Austrian puppet theatre (figurentheater) established in 1989 by Julia Reichert (b.1950) and Christopher Widauer (b.1961). Kabinett-Theater’s first performance, Die neugierigen alten Frauen (The Curious Old Ladies) by Daniil Charms, was staged in their apartment in Graz. The artist couple work in collaboration with a number of poets amongst whom are H.C. Artmann, Wolfi Bauer, and Markus Hinterhäuser.
Julia Reichert, born into a family of actors in Munich, grew up in close contact with the literary and artistic circles of the city. She trained as a librarian but was soon creating unusual miniature sculptures in wood, fabric, and canvas. These first appeared on stage in 1980.
The kinds of figures and the techniques of manipulation are very diverse (rod, glove, shadow, and string puppets). The texts chosen for the plays include works by Karl Valentin, Konrad Bayer, and Hugo Ball (Krippenspiel: Nativity Play). The influences visible in their work are clearly Federico Fellini, Charlie Chaplin, and Pina Bausch.
Since 1996, the theatre has been based in Vienna in an old building that was once a porcelain factory. Short dramatic pieces, some of which are written specially for the company, appear in the repertoire, and a number of them are co-productions: Sommernachtswut (Fury of a Summer’s Night, 1993) by the Swiss author Urs Widmer; Hamlet (1998), produced by Eduard de Veres with the Theater Gruppe 80; and Die letzten Tage der Menschheit (The Last Days of the Human Race, 2000) by Karl Kraus with Hans Gratzer; Le bœuf dans la cuisine – The Nothing Doing Bar (The Bull in the Kitchen – The Nothing Doing Bar) adapted from the work by Darius Milhaud.
The Kabinett-Theater was awarded the Nestroy Prize in 2004 for Sündenfälle (The Fall), a series of short dramatic episodes.