The Physicists

Friedrich Dürrenmatt's world famous play,

presented in English language

(translation by James Kirkup).

HoffART-Theater Darmstadt,

19, 20, 21, 26, 27 & 28 May 2011 at 19:30

& matinee Sunday 22 May 2011 at 14:00

In view of recent events we have

decided to make a donation of 10%

of ticket income from The Physicists

to ESA's Humanitarian Relief Fund

for Japan.


The Physicists (Die Physiker) is a satirical drama, often recognized as the most impressive work of the Swiss writer Friedrich Dürrenmatt.

Set against the background of the Cold War and the many advances in science and nuclear technology, the play deals with questions of scientific ethics and mankind's ability to handle its intellectual responsibilities. Though set in the 1960s, the themes of the play are - unfortunately - timeless. The play was first performed in Zürich 1962 and has remained popular ever since.


  • Inspector Voss - David Andrews

  • Matron Boll - Moira Grundy

  • Police Doctor - Deena Batten

  • Police Photographer - Tim Colpman

  • Police Stenographer - Christoph Weinandt

  • Nurse Irene - Linda Morrey / Myriam Pecchioli

  • Patient "Newton" - Mark Grundy

  • Fräulein Dr. von Zahnd - Ruth Armstrong

  • Patient "Einstein" - Eric Beveridge

  • Frau Lina Rose - Emma Wright

  • Oskar Rose - Donald Phillips

  • Adolf-Friedrich - Lucy Beaven

  • Wilfried-Kaspar - Myriam Pecchioli

  • Jörg-Lukas - Hannah Beaven

  • Patient Möbius - Alastair McDonald

  • Nurse Monika - Lea Ostmann

  • Chief attendant Sievers - Andreas Schepers

  • Attendant McArthur - Dick Waite

  • Attendant Murillo - Ioannis Dimakakos

Directed by Melanie Zander

  • Stage Management Team: Simon Allan, Henry Walls, Adam Miller

  • Stage Design: Nigel Link

  • Stage Building: Nigel Link, Dick Waite, Adam Miller, Simon Allan, Henry Walls, Eric Beverdige, Moira Grundy, Mark Grundy, Melanie Zander

  • Lights & Sound: Frank Albrecht, Stefano de Padova

  • Music: Kreutzer Sonata played by Natalia Lynch (violin) and Birgit Abt (piano), violin solos played by Georg Bednarek

  • Props: Sara Gonzales, Moira Grundy

  • Costumes: Moira Grundy

  • Poster & Programme: Bruno Sousa, Melanie Zander

  • Production: Melanie Zander, Mark Grundy

A foreword by Professor Walter Flury

“The Physicists” by Friedrich Dürrenmatt

The satirical drama was first performed on 20 February 1962 at the Zurich theatre.

The exclusive Cherry Trees sanatorium caters to a very special clientele. All three of its current "residents" are brilliant physicists - and all three are quite insane. There's wild-haired Albert Einstein, who tries to soothe his tortured spirit by playing the violin; there's prim-and-proper Sir Isaac Newton, who hides his liquor in the fireplace where his keepers will never think to look; and Möbius, the most brilliant of them all, and perhaps the most insane. Overseeing the sanatorium is Fräulein Doktor Mathilde von Zahnd, a hunchbacked alienist and rich heiress.

Oh, there's one last thing the physicists have in common - they've all murdered their nurses at one time or another, much to the annoyance of hyperactive police inspector Voss ….

The Physicists is considered to be Friedrich Dürrenmatt's masterpiece of espionage, nuclear proliferation, and the dilemma of the responsibility of the individual to society. Viewed in the context of the tragedy of Fukujima the play appears to be timeless.

Who was Dürrenmatt? The famous Swiss dramatist passed away more than twenty years ago. He was a poet of the paradox and the grotesque; his intention was not to provoke but to raise awareness.