Please read the title of the show carefully: As opposed to the Australian tap dance show Tap Dogs, Top Dogs is a canine of a totally different breed.
This drama of Swiss playwright Urs Widmer tells the story of six different people who have lost their jobs. They all have in common that they were in the top management ranks. "They were top dogs, not underdogs", as Widmer points out. His play shows how they meet in a so-called outplacement agency where they are coached for their future career, if there is one.
Although showing factious characters on stage, Top Dogs, is based on a string of conversations that Widmer led with unemployed people and unemployment counselors for some months. "I did not want to do any finger pointing, I just tried to make people more sensitive to a problem which can concern everyone", Widmer said of the message of his play.
Top Dogs was originally produced by the Neumarkt Theater Zurich, where it was chosen as the "best German language play of the 1996/97 season" by the magazine Theater heute (Theatre Today). In the Theaterkeller Linz, where Top Dogs had its Austrian premiere on April 18, Udo Schuermer directs Christina Bettina Pfannkuch, Ester Stein, Peter Kempkes, Erich Josef Langwiesner, Alfred Rauch and Eugen Victor.
The next performance dates: April 20, 23, 29; May 7, 13, 27, 29. Tickets can be ordered at +43-732-76110. - By Bernd Freimueller