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The Visit

In The Visit (original title Der Besuch der alten Dame), Claire Zachanassian, now a multimillion heiress and an older woman, returns to the impoverished town of her youth with a dreadful bargain: in exchange for returning the town to prosperity through her vast wealth, she wants the townspeople to kill the man who jilted her. From its subtle exploration of parochial politics to its horrific climax, The Visit shows a population willing to sacrifice loyalty and scruples in the pursuit of riches. It is a drama of the absurd that reduces human nature to its most ridiculous depths. Durrenmatt was one of the most important figures of modern European drama and The Visit remains both a powerful critique of twentieth century civilisation and an outstanding piece of experimental theatre.
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The English tranlsation of Friedrich Durrenmatt's 1956 Swiss-German play, a macabre and darkly comic parable of greed and power.

About the Author

Friedrich Durrenmatt was born on 5 January 1921 in the Emmental, Switzerland, the son of a Protestant pastor. At the age of 26, his first work, It Is Written, premiered to great controversy, and he went on to write many successful and challenging plays, including Romulus the Great and The Physicists. He was a proponent of epic theatre whose plays reflected the recent experiences of World War II. He wrote avant-garde dramas, satire and philosophical crime novels and he was a member of the Gruppe Olten. Durrenmatt died from heart failure in Neuchatel in 1990, aged 69.

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