Frank V.

Premiere:  10/09/2016
Igor in role: Richard Egli

a comedy about a private bank with music by Paul Burkhard

This “gangster opera about friendship for life and for nothing, and for life as it is”, as the author himself characterized his work, is one of several masterpieces (alongside The Visit and The Physicists) by a modern Swiss playwright whose opinion was that if art is supposed to express an opinion on the state of the world, only the genre of comedy is suitable for portraying the present day. Dürrenmatt depicts, with great irony and exaggeration, the practices and morals of a private financial institution. Frank´s V. bank is an idiosyncratic company. Their customers never see the money they deposit again in their lives. The bank also scrupulously steers clear of doing even one single bit of honest business. The cheating and stealing go on continuously and there are even murders, but there is also a lot of singing – for example about goodness, good manners, dreams and future happiness. This “ship” full of “pirates” is sinking slowly, however, and it can only be saved by a captain who employs the most modern and effective methods. But...

The author says: “Frank V. is about the weak rule of one director over a private bank, about his death and the way his son takes over the company. It is a story about a group of people who run the private bank on gangsterly lines. It’s a method which has been passed down from the good old days, but somewhat forcibly, and the evil is perpetuated: crooked fathers produce crooked sons.”

Sometimes, someone pipes up and claims that people like those Dürrenmatt shows in Frank V. simply don´t exist. The author, as a watcher of people as well as himself, wasn´t so sure. He admitted: “Of course, my private bank is a work of fiction,” but added simultaneously: “Just like Frank´s employees, we all want goodness, happy children, a family house; we want to be decent. Let´s be careful not to just sing about goodness, like them.”