What price can be put on justice? After 20 years, the billionaire Claire Zachanassian returns to Güllingen.
The small down is heavily in debt, impoverished and on the brink of ruin. Zachanassian promises the community new affluence. However, her fiscal aid comes with one condition: the inhabitants of Güllingen will only receive the money if they kill Alfred III, Zachanassian’s former lover and father of her child. Alfred III denied paternity upon the child’s birth, bribed two fake witnesses, reduced her to whoredom, and drove her out of Güllingen.
Now, Claire Zachanassian wants just one thing: justice. A lot of time has passed. The fallen girl, now the richest woman in the world, does not only reap revenge on Alfred III but also unveils the Güllingen citizens' dishonesty, greed and corruption. They are all guilty and all become perpetrators, accomplices and collaborators.
Dürrenmatt’s parable is as topical as ever. A specialist in plot twists regarding worst case scenarios, he takes full advantage of the total and indiscriminate power capital wields over ethical norms. Dürrenmatt mercilessly reveals the mechanisms and power structures of a society caught between guilt, responsibility, the common good and a sense of morality.
The Visit is one of Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s (1921–1990) most successful and popular plays. Its 1956 premiere at Schauspielhaus Zürich made him world-famous. In this production, the play is bestowed with an additional dimension: the biography of Evgenia Dodina, whose portrayal of Claire Zachanassian creates space for conflict between Güllingen and the world.