American evening Theatre play The Infernal Comedy: Confessions of a serial killer

Actor: John Malkovich

Written and directed by: Michael Sturminger

Conductor: Martin Haselböck


Soloists: Chen Reis – soprano and Susan Langbein – soprano

Orchestra Wiener Akademie


The Infernal Comedy is the autobiography of Austrian serial killer Jack Unterweger performed on stage. Unterweger was imprisoned for murder but became a poet and writer while serving his sentence; critics loved him and intellectuals and politicians eventually got him a pardon, claiming he was an example of ‘rehabilitation.’ Once free, Unterweger became a journalist and a sought-after lecturer. As well as a multiple murderer. Caught and convicted again, he took his own life.

The play’s plot is intriguing and so is its format: it includes an on-stage orchestra, operatic arias and sopranos voicing the rage, despair, and thirst for revenge for the victims. Some say it’s the birth of a new genre. Unterweger is played by none other than stage and screen great John Malkovich. His fans have had multiple opportunities to enjoy hid brilliant eccentricity, but his raw talent is more than apparent in the Infernal comedy which is an exciting piece of theatre. The “Infernal Comedy” can be seen both as a warning and as a reprehension. On one side Unterweger is celebrated and praised by society even after his terrible deeds, and on the other side the question remains- why would a serial killer be given the right to a pardon. Looking at the concept of imprisonment rehabilitation, it is an important and key part of moral values. But is it really possible to redeem the sin for violently taking people’s lives? With that said, the piece itself probably speaks more about society than about Unterweger himself.


John Gavin Malkovich is an American actor, director and producer. Born on December 9, 1953 in Christopher, Illinois, his paternal grandparents come from the Croatian village of Ozalj near Karlovac, while his mother is of Scottish/German origin. Malkovich’s success is first noted on the theatre scene and in 1999 he portrays himself in the movie “Being John Malkovich”. He has been nominated twice for an Oscar for his performances in “Places in the heart” and “In the line of fire”. He was nominated for the BAFTA award and for three Goden Globe awards. Malkovich has acted in over 70 motion pictures.


26 Jul 2023






Antique theatre


Antique theatre

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