Frost 01

©Brachwitz | Andreas Patton | mumok

Frost 02

©Brachwitz | Andreas Patton | mumok

Frost 03

©Brachwitz | Andreas Patton | mumok

Frost 04

©Brachwitz | Andreas Patton | mumok

Frost 05

©3007 | Andreas Patton | Deichtorhallen Hamburg

Frost 06

©3007 | Andreas Patton | Kunsthalle Krems

Frost 07

©3007 | Andreas Patton | Kunsthalle Krems

Frost 08

©theater.punkt | Andreas Patton | Shakespeare Theater Danzig

Frost 09

©theater.punkt | Andreas Patton | Nationaltheater Tirana

Frost 10

©3007 | Plakate alle Spielorte



Thomas Bernhard

A cooperation with mumok Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien

Bearing in mind that walking is one of the novel’s leitmotifs, it’s fascinating to follow the actor – acoustically or physically – as he walks from the entrance into the corridors and on into the heart of the museum, thereby letting the audience choose their own perspective of events.
Wolfgang Musil’s sensitive sound direction makes this possible, meaning that the audience can hear Andreas Patton even from the remotest corner of the museum, supporting and counterpointing the actor with his sound installations.

2010 Nestroy Prize | ‘best fringe production’

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16 Nov – 24 Nov 2009 and

29 Oct – 5 Nov 2010 at the mumok Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien

Premiere on 15 Nov 2009

2011 at the Tirol Panorama in Innsbruck

2011 at the DEICHTORHALLEN in Hamburg

2012 at the Kunsthalle Krems

2019 at the National Theatre in Tirana and at the Shakespeare Theatre in Gdańsk


with Andreas Patton

Novel adapted, set designed, play directed by Sabine Mitterecker

Sound design and live electronics by Wolfgang Musil

Costumes by Maria Theresia Bartl Dramaturgical consultant Uwe Mattheiss




When the sons of Nazis were students

‘Director Sabine Mitterecker dramatises Thomas Bernhard’s novel Frost at Vienna’s Mumok.’

Ronald Pohl | DER STANDARD | 12 Nov 2009

Theatre sets in the eye of the typhoon

‘Director Sabine Mitterecker awarded the 2010 Nestroy theatre prize.’

Judith Belfkih | WIENER ZEITUNG | 28 Oct 2010

Expedition to solitude

‘Andreas Patton guests at the Deichtorhallen with Frost.’

Belinda Grace Gardner | Die Welt | 10 Dec 2012

Theatre – Export

Thomas Bernhard’s crazy painter guests in Tirana

‘Solidarity with the national theatre there: Sabine Mitterecker’s dramatisation of Frost is now guesting in the Albanian capital.’

Ronald Pohl | DER STANDARD | 20 Dec 2019





Thomas Bernhard’s debut novel Frost, which was published in 1963, essentially sets out all the central motifs that he would keep returning to throughout his literary career. It lays the foundation for what he would later elaborate on in his plays using a different formal arsenal.
Formally, Bernhard – as an author of prose – breaks new ground with Frost. The narrative time changes erratically, as do the sequences of direct and indirect speech; the text does not depend on a continuously developing story or a temporal structure.
Due to these unique narrative features and the choice of a failing artist called Strauch as the protagonist, Frost can also be read as a reflection on the crisis of art in modernity, on changes in the concept of work (‘I’m no painter’, he said today, ‘At most I was a house painter’, FR 15), on the altered relationship between art and nature, as well as on the already and increasingly difficult question of what place there is for an artist’s work in society. Viewed in this light, it makes perfect sense to develop a theatre adaptation of the novel for the mumok Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien that is inspired by its unique architecture.

The past often finds its way into present streams of thought, and in narratives the past and present often converge. Talking about language and thinking about thoughts are key elements. Individual trains of thought are arranged according to patterns that are often compared with musical phenomena like ‘motif’, ‘leitmotif’, ‘sequence’ or ‘fugue style’ in the secondary literature. Accordingly, the adaptation extracts the individual trains of thought, assenting and dissenting voices in the novel and assembles them as a score for an actor.
In this way, speech fits into the spatial setting of the museum like a temporary installation. The museum is not a stage, the works of fine art are not decorations. In this theatrical adaptation, the novel is presented as a language- and thought-based exhibit among other exhibits in the museum.

It would take a year and a half until a version was produced that the publishing house was ready to accept, until the cooperation experiment could be conducted and until theatregoers could see Frost at the mumok Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien while the museum was open as usual.


28–29 Oct 2011 Tirol Panorama in Innsbruck in cooperation with the Tiroler Landesmuseen

9–10 Dec 2011 at the Haus der Photographie in cooperation with the DEICHTORHALLEN in Hamburg

14–15 Dec 2012 at the Kunsthalle Krems as part of ‘Wachau in Echtzeit’

2019 at the National Theatre in Tirana with Albanian surtitles and at the Shakespeare Theatre in Gdańsk with simultaneous interpreting into Polish

2019 Frost film at the mumok cinema and at the Austrian Cultural Forum Kyiv


2010 Nestroy Prize | ‘best fringe production’

Production Team

Assistant director Christina Russ Lighting by Nicole Krupionik and Christian Sarsan

Production and sponsoring by Martina Grillhofer

Artwork by 3007/Eva Dranaz, Jochen Fill

Performance rights granted by Suhrkamp Theater Verlag

Supported by

Supported by the Cultural Affairs Department of the City of Vienna (MA7), Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Culture

Thanks to: Klangfarbe LISKA Wolfgang Mitterecker (architect) WITTMANN Salon ER-ICH