"It is now one hour before dawn - when I must dismiss us both. When I return, I'll tell you about the war I fought with God through His preferred Creature - Mozart, named Amadeus. In the waging of which, of course, the Creature had to be destroyed."
It is 1823. Vienna. The famous composer Salieri is ill and dying. For him, it seems, his final hours on earth are not just for reminiscing, but confessing. Amadeus is the story of that confession - of how Salieri made a deal with God in the hope of gaining talent, and how the greater genius of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart turned everything upside down. Upon witnessing Mozart's extraordinary talents first-hand, Salieri starts down a course of action with dark and dangerous consequences for both men.
Peter Shaffer's play is a costume tragedy for the stage, taking the audience back into the world of the Viennese court of the 18th century and exploring the personal, and political motivations behind the facades. An ensemble of exotic and lively characters people his world, a world where music is intertwined with intrigue, sexual bargaining, and gossip. The play itself has been through multiple versions since its first run in 1979 (with Ian McKellen and Tim Curry in the leading roles), including one oscar winning film. Twice director of Amadeus Peter Hall has said that the current play has evolved massively from a melodrama into what it is today "while keeping its thrills and its intellectual edge, it has become a profoundly humanist play about forgiveness and atonement."