represent. brings Trueman and the Arsonists to the Roundhouse in Camden

represent. has announced new production Trueman and the Arsonists to run at the Roundhouse in Camden.

The new version of Max Frisch’s Biedermann und die Brandstifter (Biedermann and the Firestarters) has been adapted by Simon Stephens with songs by Chris Thorpe.

The production runs at the Studio Theatre at the Roundhouse from 24 October – 8 November 2023 with previews from 17 October.

Making up the cast are Adam Owers (Trueman), Nadine Ivy Barr (Bobsy), Thara Schöön (Anna), Tommy Oldroyd (Smith), Angela Jones (Hadid), Charlotte O’Leary (Police Officer/Professor/Mrs Waits) and Aaron Douglas and Lucy Yates (Chorus).

Fires keep starting. All across the city, arsonists worm their way into respectable people’s homes only to burn them all down. It’s a plague. And we don’t know why.

But Trueman is no fool. He can spot an arsonist from a mile away. These two gentlemen with troubled pasts who turn up on his doorstep asking for a spare room can’t be arsonists. They’re too polite. Like him. Everybody is far too respectable to act on their suspicions. Even when they fill his attic with barrels of petrol and ask him to help measure the fuse.

In a new version by Simon Stephens, with songs by Chris Thorpe, Max Frisch’s Trueman and the Arsonists explores how moral lethargy can invite evil in – even encouraging you to give it a warm blanket and a nice dinner.

Abigail Graham directs the production which has design by Lizzy Leech, lighting design by Rajiv Pattani, sound design by Zac Gvi, costume supervision by Katie Kelson and with casting by Sarah Leung

represent. is on a mission to create an exceptional, professional theatre company of people from lower socio-economic backgrounds, providing an accessible platform for those with barriers to entry into the arts.

Simon Stephens said “represent. is one of the most exciting companies working with young actors in England. The rigour and brilliance of their work and the fearlessness of their ambition galvanise me. To collaborate with them and with the legend that is Chris Thorpe, one of Europe’s most exciting theatre makers, means a great deal. To have the opportunity to build that collaboration around a masterpiece of 20th Century drama, Max Frisch’s ferocious, daring play, is a proper treat.”

Creative Director of represent. Guy Woolf added: “represent. is a political company. We exist to redress the socioeconomic imbalance in the arts and our productions confront the times that we’re living in. We could not be more excited to light another fuse with our second commission, this time with the globally renowned Simon Stephens adapting Max Frisch’s cult classic with songs by incredible playwright/performer/musician Chris Thorpe. We’re ecstatic that we’ve pulled together this incredible team – Simon and Chris have been friends for many years but now collaborate for the first time – and to stage this new piece at the Roundhouse with their exceptional track record and shared vision for supporting marginalised artists, this truly is the dream. We can’t wait to show you this bold new production which will spark fiery debate long after the curtain call…”

For more information and tickets, visit

About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.


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