Die Physiker

A comedy in two acts by Friedrich Dürrenmatt based on the Zurich premiere of 1962

Resumption 26.08.2024

Postponed to the 24/25 season

  • Eine Szene aus Die Physiker
    © Ingo Hoehn
  • Inszenierung – Ensemble

  • 2 hours 25 minutes with intermission
  • Interesting for people from 12+
  • With English subtitles

Dürrenmatt classic - the Basel company stages itself

Murder case in the mental hospital! Already the second nurse has been murdered. The perpetrator, one of three physicists, claims to be Einstein. Another thinks he is Newton. To the third, Möbius, King Solomon appears. It soon becomes clear that they are all playing at something here. Möbius has discovered the world formula. He pretends to be crazy in order to keep his discovery, with which mankind could destroy itself, a secret. The other two are secret agents for East and West on a mission to get him on their side. But the genius Möbius, caught in a moral dilemma, chooses isolation. One decides for all - and becomes the pawn of the power interests of a mad-doctor who has long been pulling the strings in the background.

"What concerns everyone can only be solved by everyone," wrote Dürrenmatt. The Basaler Compagnie takes up this credo, does without a director and reconstructs the premiere of 1962 - the set in black and white, as in the pictures of that time, with a red curtain and a dusty image of women.

A cheeky comedy, entirely in the spirit of Dürrenmatt and on his 100th birthday, which demonstrates with playful power how the world and its order come apart at the seams.

Digital book table

Together with the dramaturgy, Basel's Kulturhaus Bider & Tanner has curated the book table for our plays for many years. Now this selection of books, CDs, DVDs, catalogues or even sheet music can be accessed at any time in the online shop. It's worth browsing regularly.

Book table


Above all, Dürrenmatt's black humour comes out here - more than the moral philosophical considerations behind this play. (...) But first and foremost it is great fun to watch the actors and actresses on stage: They visibly enjoy playing and really immerse themselves in the aesthetics of the 60s.
The play with the original and the new immediately leaves the audience guessing where the ensemble had to fill in gaps on their own. The multifaceted acting of the actors and actresses is decisive, above all that of Andrea Bettini, who also succeeds in the role of the inspector with relaxed authenticity. Jörg Pohl as Newton and Fabian Dämmich as the childishly naive Einstein stand out with their fine body language: Absurd gestures, nervous blinking - nothing seems exaggerated and yet quite surprising.
bz Basel
Carina Braunschmidt's mad doctor demonstrates to the male allies what true omnipotence fantasy is capable of. Long faces among the physicists. Thunderous applause from the audience. Deservedly so.
Basler Zeitung
The excellent ensemble consciously plays with the dust that the play and the production of that time have accumulated up to the present day. But apart from a few slapstick interludes, they avoid making fun of the old theatre, of the production from back then. The grotesque remains a grotesque, even if as a testimony to the times it is perhaps even more grotesque than it once was.
Town Clerk