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UK Premiere at the White Bear

Thursday, 29 September, 2011

One of Ken Tynan’s essential dramas – Count Oederland by Max Frisch

In the centenary year of Max Frisch’s birth Cerberus presents the UK Premiere of Count Oederland.  First produced 50 years ago in Zurich, Kenneth Tynan placed it on his now famous list of plays for the National Theatre.  Never before seen in this country Count Oederland has been described as American Psycho meets The Third Man.

A Public Prosecutor, in the course of investigating the apparently motiveless murder of a bank employee, suffers an aberration of the mind.  Lost in thoughts of escape from duty and responsibility the Prosecutor loses his identity; finding it in the legend of Count Oederland. The Count, whose name translates literally as ‘Count Barren Land’ is a fairy tale character who chops down all those who stand in his way with an axe.

The Public Prosecutor’s private act of revolt becomes an infectious underground movement. As more and more people join him and ‘take to the axe’, he becomes the leader of a movement for freedom – responsible for the whole nation – but is this the freedom he dreamt of?

Max Frisch is Switzerland’s best-known and most controversial author and dramatist, most famous for plays such as The Fire Raisers and Andorra; his works deal with the resonant issues of human identity, responsibility and morality and political commitment.  Frisch considered Count Oederland his most mysterious and most vital play.

“There are all sorts of ways of murdering a person or at least his soul, and that’s something no police in the world can spot” – Max Frisch

Count Oederland runs 1st – 19th November at the White Bear Theatre. www.cerberustheatre.org.uk

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