“A Cask of Amontillado” is a haunting theatre version of Edgar Allan Poe’s short story of the same name. With a dark atmosphere and psychological tension, it draws the audience into a world of betrayal and revenge. The protagonist, Montresor, leads the unsuspecting Fortunato into the dark, damp catacombs beneath his estate, ostensibly to sample a rare wine. The dialogue is rich with underlying tension, and the dwindling torches cast eerie shadows on the stone walls as the action inexorably builds towards a shocking climax. It is a masterpiece of theatrical tension and symbolic depth that holds the audience spellbound long after the curtain falls
We performed a small excerpt as part of the Heidelberg Theatre Days. We stood, suitably disguised, at a bend in the road on the way up to Heidelberg Castle.
LUCHESI: Ah, dear Odoni, on your way home too?
ODONI: Ah, dear Luchesi. Yes, I had already noticed you in the palazzo, but I was talking to some. I must leave now.
LUCHESI: My need for this company is satisfied for the time being. Only when I think of Lady Fortunato…
ODONI: Oh…, she rises like a yeast cake - tasteless like a fully eaten rat - una ratta della Canale Grande.
LUCHESI: It undoubtedly reminds me of the barrel of Amotillado I recently sold to Montresor.
ODONI: Amotillado … a wretchedly expensive swill. I hope you didn’t put any sherry in it?
LUCHESI: Oh, no, no, no, no, no. It’s not entirely safe to mess with Montresor. You know …. (whispered:) the story a few years ago
ODONI: Fortunato dared to offend Montresor in public. It’s a wonder nothing has happened yet.
LUCHESI: Fortunato will stumble into his own grave the way he drinks.