- The first major play by Frank Wedekind, written in1891 and given its first public performance 15 years later in Berlin.In its attack on sexual repression it anticipates the themes of Wedekind'ssubsequent dramas. Subtitled A Children's Tragedy, the playdepicts the tragic love affair between Melchior and Wendla, two 14-year-olds; the disapproval of their tyrannical parents leads to an abortion and Wendla's death.
In 1901 the work was privately performed in London by theStage Society. Owing to its controversial subject matter,it was not produced for public performance in Britain until 1965,when it was seen at the Royal Court Theatre. In 1974 it was revivedby the National Theatre in a translation by Edward Bond. A musical versionof the play, by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater, opened on Broadway in 2006and proved an enormous success, running until 2009; the show's numerous awards include the Tonys for Best Musical, Best Book, and Best Score. Therehave since been productions in London, Sydney, and several European countries.