1978 Play – “The Fire Raisers” – Programme

CAST in order of appearance

Gottlieb Biedermann – Simon Marples
a bourgeois

Firemen – Peter Wicks

Robin Bulow

Stephen Cowell

Keith Tolputt

Firemen’s leader –

Rodney Haddrell

Anna – Karen Alder
a maid

Joseph Schmitz – Adrian Hodges
a wrestler

Babette Biederman – Siobhan Doran

Wilhelm Eisenring – Steven Walker
an ex-waiter

Policeman – Stephen Cowell

Frau Knechtling – Byron Chatburn

Ph.D – Peter Wicks
a Doctor of Philosophy

Lighting – Paul Beecham

Roger Lewis

Sound – Billy Newman

Peter Marsh

Set Design – Gary Davidson

Stephen Wood

Martin Dodkins

Robert Hardy

Stage Management – Robert Dale

Michael Slater

David Cartwright

Dave Pudney

Nick Cooper

Martin Dench

Greg Foster

Make-up – Miss Thea Brueton

Michael Nunn

Kevin Black

Byron Chatburn

Dean Chatburn

David King

Stuart Lund

Mark Smithard

Martin Smith

Front of House – Norman Kaufmann

Peter Scriven

Programme – Philip Clipsham

Simon Carter

Director – Bryan Owen

Producer – Rod Cox

TIME – Now

PLACE – Europe


Interval of 20 minutes


Max Frisch (born 1911) is a German-speaking Swiss.

The Fire Raisers began life as a short prose passage in Frisch’s Diary 1946-1949, became a radio play in 1953 and was adapted for the stage in 1957.

The play opened in Zurich as “Bicdermann und die Brandstifter” and was first produced in England in 1961 at the Royal Court Theatre.

Like Brecht, Frisch employs devices to alienate his audience, so that they may observe not merely WHAT happens but WHY it happens.

Yet in judging Biedermann and those whom he represents we should remember – as the chorus puts it – that ‘he who sees from without…. more quickly perceives the peril that threatens.’ Frisch does not allow our individual conscience to escape judgement either.

Everyone must answer for himself Biedermann’s crucial question: ‘What would you have done in my place, damn it all, and when?’

Acknowledgments to Miss Hasler, Head mistress Dover Grammar School for Girls, for kindly allowing her girls to take part; to Dover Operatic and Dramatic Society; to Mr. D.K. Radley and S.G.B; St. George’s Church, Deal for the loan of a tape recorder; to the Guild Players, Deal; to Mr. Williams and Alan for erecting the scaffolding; TO Mr. Henneker; to Mr. and Mrs. Wills; to Mr. M.H. Smith and Mr. Bob Smith; Mrs Hogg; Mr Nicholas; Mrs Bibb; Mr and Mrs Lyle; Mrs Reidy; Mr and Mrs Wooton; Mrs Becket.

Printed by the Pharos Press, Art Department, Dover Grammar School for Boys.

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