Corruption is one of the largest political and social problems of our time, one that is globally on the rise. A traveller passing through Mozambique or walking through Maputo will be quick to recognize the sheen of the past on many of the buildings and places there. As in Dürrenmatt’s small town of Güllen, decay is widespread here, for in the wake of the war for independence and civil conflicts Mozambique counts among the poorest countries in the world. However, this nation currently nurtures big hopes of blossoming: large deposits of raw materials have been discovered in the north, and there are plans to extract these in the near future.
This adaptation of Dürrenmatt’s classic features eight actors and musicians from the Teatro Avenuda as they explore the pressing social dilemmas entangled within the intricate Mozambican web: corruption pervading large-scale politics and spreading to civilian life, urgent questions of right and wrong, a lack of economic and intellectual freedom, rampant capriciousness and irresponsibility. One of the poorest countries in the world is about to start afresh- who will profit from the new riches?
“The Old Lady’s Visit” is a comedy written by the Swiss Friedrich Dürrenmatt in 1956. It tells of the billionaire Claire Zachanassian, who, after many years away, returns to the impoverished little town of her youth, where she was once known as Klara. She now plans to take revenge upon her former lover Alfred, who -when she was pregnant with his child- denied paternity. Klara was forced to leave her hometown poor, defenceless and dishonoured, and was consequently driven to prostitution. However, after marrying the owner of an oil well, she has come into a massive fortune. This now highly regarded ‘old lady’ presents the townspeople with an immoral proposal: she’ll give them a billion if they kill Alfred.
Direction: Jens Vilela Neumann
Actors: Lucrécia Paco / Adelino Branquinho/ Graça Silva / Jorge Vaz / Nelson Faquir / Assado Lichane / Sérgio Muiambo / Timóteo Cuche / Alcídio Pires
Technician: Alfredo Semo
Dramaturgy: Manuela Soeiro
Lighting Concept: Matthias Henckel
Stage and Costume Design: Katja Reetz
Translations: Margarida de Sousa Vilela
Subsidized by the Foreign Bureau of the Federal Republic of Germany, Aktion Afrika and
the Swiss Embassy in cooperation with the ICMAA Maputo and the Teatro Avenida Maputo