The Threepenny Opera

The Threepenny Opera

Translator: John Willett
Translator: Ralph Manheim
Editor: Ralph Manheim
Foreword by:
Introduction by: Norman Roessler

  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780143105169
  • 176 Pages
  • Penguin Classics
  • Adult


Brutal, scandalous, perverted, yet humorous, hummable, and with a happy ending- Bertolt Brecht’s revolutionary masterpiece The Threepenny Opera is a landmark of modern drama that has become embedded in the Western cultural imagination. Through the love story of Polly Peachum and “Mack the Knife” Macheath, the play satirizes the bourgeois of the Weimar Republic, revealing a society at the height of decadence and on the verge of chaos. Complemented with music by Kurt Weill, it was one of the earliest and most successful attempts to introduce jazz into the theater, and the song “Mack the Knife” became one of the most popular and widely recorded songs of the twentieth century.


The Threepenny Opera and Mother Courage are the great plays of our time.”
-Lillian Hellman

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