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BIEDERMANN AND THE FIRESTARTERS is Now Playing at Theater St.Gallen

Performances run through 8 June.

BIEDERMANN AND THE FIRESTARTERS is Now Playing at Theater St.Gallen

The wealthy hair tonic manufacturer Gottlieb Biedermann learns from the newspaper that arson attacks are increasing in the city. Always following the same procedure, the criminals, disguised as peddlers, nest in the attics of the houses and then set them on fire. In times like these, Biedermann believes a certain distrust is appropriate. Nevertheless, shortly afterwards he allows the homeless wrestler Schmitz to stay in his attic. When two more of the wrestler's cronies suddenly appear and lug petrol barrels upstairs, Biedermann has an uneasy premonition. But instead of putting the criminals on the street, he is increasingly hospitable, hoping that he will be spared. So the catastrophe takes its course and you face the downfall with open eyes.

The first idea for this amusing lesson without a lesson can be found in Frisch's diaries from 1946-1949. In 1953, commissioned by the Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation, a radio play version was created from this, and in 1958, after further editing by Frisch, it was premiered at the Zurich Schauspielhaus.

Even today, Frisch's political parable is red-hot, telling of inaction in view of the threat, of inactivity as a political attitude and of opportunism.

Performances run through 8 June. Learn more at

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