The Fire Raisers

11 Dec 2023 @ 7:00pm,
12 Dec 2023 @ 7:00pm
The 1812 Theatre Ltd.

Author: Max Frisch Translated by Alister Beaton

Director: Andrew Ferguson

Genre: Drama

Agent: By arrangements with Alan Brodie Representation Ltd


Fires are becoming something of a problem.
A respected member of the community with a loving wife and a flourishing business; surely nothing can get to him. The great philanthrope, he is happy to meet his civic duty and give shelter to two new houseguests, and when they start filling the attic with petrol drums, he’ll help them wire the fuse.
Frisch’s parable shows us the dangers of accommodating the very thing that can destroy you.


Characters Summary:

Gottlieb Biedermann
Babette Biedermann
Willi Eisenring
Leader of the Fire Brigade
Policeman & Doctor of Philosophy
Members of the Fire Brigade

Characters Description:

*Gottlieb Biedermann: male, 40+
A ‘solid citizen’ and the millionaire manufacturer of a dubious hair tonic. His name suggests a respectable, unimaginative bourgeois who adheres rigidly to the social and ethical standards of his class. He consistently disregards the arsonists’ increasingly clear announcements of their intentions and ends, i.e. his naïve nature contributes to the burning down of his own home.

*Babette Biedermann: female, 40+
Biedermann’s wife, who copies her husband slavishly in attempting to placate the arsonists; her husband assigns her unpleasant tasks in dealing with them. Her only mode of resistance is to reproach her husband for the good nature that allows him to take in strangers without thoroughly considering the consequences.

*Willi Eisenring: male, 30+
One of the arsonists, who suddenly turns up in Biedermann’s attic. He wears evening dress; he was headwaiter at the Metropol restaurant “until it burned down.” He joins Schmitz (the other main arsonist) in intimidating the Biedermanns under a genial exterior.

*Leader of the Fire Brigade (originally firemen): any gender, 20+
The mixed-gender fire brigade will be pre-recorded and projected during this production, delivering the original German text, with surtitles. They act as a ‘Greek chorus’, commenting on the action throughout the play. Their Leader appears live on stage, ‘interacting’ with the pre-recorded members of the fire brigade; preference in casting will be given to a bilingual German/English actor.

*Anna: female, 20+
A maidservant in the Biedermann household; minor, but important role – a generally demure person, but with a fiery temper; appearances throughout the play.

*Policeman & Doctor of Philosophy: male, 25+
One actor will play both these roles, which are minor but important. The Policeman makes only a brief appearance. The Doctor attempts to provide an academic perspective to the audience regarding developments in society towards the end of the play.

*Members of the Fire Brigade: any gender, 20+
Must be fluent speakers of German; will be expected to learn several of the Fire Brigade Chorus sections of the script to be delivered to camera from memory for pre-recording, excerpts of which will be compiled for projection during the performances, i.e. these roles are not performed live.

Precast Characters:

Widow Knechtling

Audition Venue & Dates

Audition Dates and Times:

7:00pm on:

  • Mon 11th Dec 2023
  • Tue 12th Dec 2023

Audition Venue Name: The 1812 Theatre

Audition Venue Address:

3 Rose Street
Upper Ferntree Gully 3156

Audition Enquiries Contact: Andrew Ferguson


Season Dates: 4 Apr 2024 - 27 Apr 2024


4:00pm on:

  • Sun 7th Apr 2024
  • Sun 14th Apr 2024
  • Sun 21st Apr 2024

8:00pm on:

  • Thu 4th Apr 2024
  • Fri 5th Apr 2024
  • Sat 6th Apr 2024
  • Wed 10th Apr 2024
  • Thu 11th Apr 2024
  • Fri 12th Apr 2024
  • Sat 13th Apr 2024
  • Wed 17th Apr 2024
  • Thu 18th Apr 2024
  • Fri 19th Apr 2024
  • Sat 20th Apr 2024
  • Wed 24th Apr 2024
  • Thu 25th Apr 2024
  • Fri 26th Apr 2024
  • Sat 27th Apr 2024

More info

Other Information

Other Information:

Auditions are strictly by appointment. Please email the Director to arrange a time. Please also provide a resume prior to the audition via email:

Successful cast members MUST BE available for the full rehearsal period (6 February – 3 April 2024), with regular rehearsals on Sunday afternoons, and Tuesday & Thursday evenings, as well as all production dates (4 to 27 April 2024). Please check you are available for all dates before booking your audition time. Please also inform the Director at your audition, if there is a possibility of you taking on professional acting work that may conflict with rehearsal and performance dates.

A copy of the script will be provided, together with a list of the sections to be read at audition. It is expected that auditionees will have read the play and have a reasonable understanding of it.