"Tell me if you hear the kettle sing," Frederick tells us -- happy for guests, making a special tea.
He's 77, Karl Marx's only child to live long enough to see his father's full influence in the world. (It's 1928). His mother, Helene Demuth, servant-member of Karl and Jenny Marx's household from girlhood, told him how Karl read the nativity story each year, and though Freddy was never included, on this last Christmas Eve of his life he lets himself (and us) join them.
"I forget some things," he confesses, discovering the unplugged water kettle. But he remembers more. A life-long Socialist worker, he has found his own explanation for why his father cared so much about the world, if so little about him.
The play for Frederick follows two others for the Marx family by playwright Sylvia Manning (SilviCol). At 28 Dean Street presents Jenny Marx and Helene pregnant in the terrible conditions of London SoHo in 1851; Near Comfort is about Edgar von Westphalen, Jenny's brother, who lived many years in Sisterdale, Texas (near the town of Comfort.) "Karl was to have come with him," says Manning. "Then he got the chance to edit the Yearbook .... Karl sent letters for Edgar to New Braunfels, the town where I was born."
These scripts and Manning's other play in the 2008 Fringe, Lucila: a play for Gabriela Mistral, can be read at Celtx Project Central (http://www.pc.celtx.com/) using SilviCol as search term.
Me, You & Eli, who brought Manning's Pierrot le Quin to the 2005 Fringe Festival, are producing both.
Visit the A December Eve`s Visit with Frederick Demuth website: