Raimund Theatre – Vienna’s first musical stage

The evolution of the spoken theatre into the musical theatre

Today, the venue where spectacular musical productions featuring elaborate choreography, impressive backdrops, and highly-praised stars are brought to the stage was once the place where established Viennese actors, such as Paula Wessely and Attila Hörbiger, first discovered the theatre. From spoken theatre to musicals, the Raimund Theatre has had an impressive history.

Zuschauerbereich des Raimundtheaters
Raimund Theatre Vienna – CC BY-SA 3.0 VBW / Paul Ott / Wikimedia

Patriotic people’s plays, musical comedies, and operettas. The Wiener Volkstheater-Verein (Vienna People’s Theatre Association) was founded in 1890 in order to construct a theatre just for the people. The Raimund Theatre was established in the Viennese suburbs on the 28th November 1893.

It was named after Ferdinand Raimund, whose rarely performed magic play, “Die gefesselte Phantasie” (The Shackled Fantasy) was staged for the building’s opening. It was the association’s goal to establish the Raimund Theatre as a counterpart to the Vienna Burgtheater and to turn it into a spoken stage for classic people’s plays. From 1908, operettas also brought life to the stage. Some plays were so successful that many performances could be played consecutively for months.

The Raimund Theatre, the musical house

In the 1970s, the occasional musical was also performed, such as Kurt Weill’s Lady in the Dark. Since its general renovations, the Raimund Theatre has become a venue of great musical productions: Les MisérablesThe Beauty and the BeastDance of the Vampires or the hippie musical Hair, have all achieved amazing success in the theatre on Wallgasse.
Trailer for the Elisabeth Musical at the Raimund Theatre:

How to reach the Raimund Theatre

Address: Wallgasse 18-20, 1060 Vienna
Public transport:
Underground line U6, stop: Gumpendorfer Straße or tram line 6 or 18, stop: Mariahilfer Gürtel

Further information on the current musicals