DAS VERSPRECHEN (THE PLEDGE)
Recommended for ages: 14 and over
«It Happened in Broad Daylight» is the title of the famous film with Gert Fröbe and Heinz Rühmann from 1957, for which Friedrich Dürrenmatt wrote the screenplay. However, «The Pledge» is not the book of the film. The case of the murder of schoolgirl Gritli Moser would not leave the author in peace: in the prose version he placed different emphases and cut the happy ending. He gave this version the subtitle «Requiem for the Detective Novel» and it was used by Sean Penn in 2001 for his new adaptation «The Pledge». It focuses on Police Inspector Matthäi, who promises Gritli’s mother on his soul that he will find her daughter’s killer – words of consolation that he utters without thinking. Because he only has a few more days in the job, he is being transferred to Jordan and he already has his plane ticket.
The Canton police soon find the man responsible: a pedlar arrested on the basis of some evidence confesses to the murder and then takes his own life. But Matthäi does not believe he was guilty. He abandons his plans for the future and sets off on his own to track down the murderer.
As possibly the first profiler in literary history he constructs a psychogram of the criminal. He soon realizes that he needs a living child and hires a housekeeper who moves in with him together with her eight year-old daughter. Dürrenmatt spends less time observing the development of the case than his detective who in search for the truth breaks with his previous life and the closer he gets to it the further he distances himself from his fellow men. The man who was once Zurich’s most able policeman is soon prepared to go to any means in order to bring the killer to justice.
With Dürrenmatt’s novel, resident director Nora Schlocker brings another classic of Swiss literature to the stage following «Farinet or Fake Money» by Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz. Her productions for Theater Basel in previous seasons include «Edward II. I am Love» and «Before Sunrise» by Ewald Palmetshofer as well as Goethe’s «Urfaust».
Kommandantin der Kantonspolizei Zürich
Gritlis Mutter/Reinigungsfachkraft/Frau Heller/Frau Schrott
von Gunten, Hausierer
Annemarie, Frau Hellers Tochter
- Irma Seiler
- Livia Jost
Ursula, Gritlis beste Freundin
- Ricarda Becher
- Muriel Becher
- Ellen Reichen
- Runa Schüpbach
- Mädchen- und Knabenkantorei Basel
- Marina Niedel
- Rolf Herter
- Statisterie des Theater Basel
Preisstufe IV Schauspielhaus (von 30.– bis 60.–)