Key for Two at Viennas English Theatre [Review]

By Olivia Michaud

Key for Two at Vienna’s English Theatre is a quintessentially British comedy. The play by John Chapman and Dave Freeman has to be one of the funniest and timeless shows about in the Austrian capital.

Indeed – at no point in history has it been easy for single women to survive financially.

In the play set in Thatcher’s 80s Britain however, Harriet, a good-looking and happily divorced woman, manages to mastermind the perfect plan.

She takes on two wealthy lovers, who, both entirely devoted to Harriet, each provide her with enough money to cover “running costs”.

To manage the rigid timetable and avoid the two men from bumping into each other, she thinks up this “mother”-figure who she has to spend a lot of time caring for. And who is, incidentally, also responsible for the large bills of Vodka and cigarettes. The mother is so prudish that Harriet insists she would never approve of any extra-marital affair.

One day however, things get rather more complicated when Harriet’s best friend Anne turns up at the front door during a gap between the two men’s visits.

It turns out that Anne sudden return from New Zealand is the best thing that could have happened to Harriet that night – and she proves instrumental in keeping Gordon the southern, slightly snobbish advertising executive from meeting Alec, the good natured, rustic northern diamond. Or will they meet after all?

The situation gets even more tricky for Harriet – and thus even more entertaining for the spectator – when the permanently drunk husband Anne has just ran away from also appears on the doorstep. Along with two slightly confused and suspicious spouses…

The top-quality acting, the impressive décor and the situation grotesque of the whole farce are just three reasons you should not miss the performance.

“Key for Two” is playing at Vienna’s English Theatre in the Josefsgasse until June, 29. Performances are daily at 7.30 pm except Sundays and there are no shows between May 18 and 20.

For more information and tickets, visit