The municipality is broke: Perfect timing for the visit of the billionaire Claire Zachanassian. Everyone has high expectations of the city’s daughter, and the citizens leave no doubt that they are predominantly interested in her money. And really, the old lady holds out quite a bit for them She wants to give the city one billion. There’s only one condition: The citizens should kill III, her lover from her youth who deeply hurt her in the past.
In what’s possibly his most famous play, Friedrich Dürrenmatt analyses the relation between money and morale. His story is a test assembly that has remained controversial to this day. The citizens have busied themselves and their city into a seemingly irreversible crisis through pride and boast, and the downfall can only be prevented by accepting the indecent proposal. It doesn’t take long before self-righteousness and hypocrisy react anew, and the people are ready to sacrifice the formerly beloved citizen III for the greater good.
Anselm Weber, born in 1963, has held the position of director of the Schauspielhaus Bochum since 2010. Aside from numerous world premieres, he has directed Gerhard Hauptmann’s Vor Sonnenaufgang, Carl Sternheim’s trilogy Aus dem bürgerlichen Heldenleben, and, in the season 2013/14, the world premiere of Hans Fallada’s novel Ein Mann will nach oben.
Der Besuch der alten Dame
By Friedrich Dürrenmatt
Directed by Anselm Weber
Opened on 30 April 2015
At the Schauspielhaus Bochum, Germany