Brecht's series of twenty-four interconnected playlets describe events which took place in ordinary German households in the 1930s. They dramatise with clinical precision the suspicion and anxiety experienced by ordinary people, particularly Jewish citizens, as the power of Hitler grew. Written in exile in Denmark and first staged in 1938 it was inspired in part by his recent trip to Moscow where he had been researching tasks for the anti-Nazi effort. This Student Edition features an extensive introduction and commentary and includes: a chronology of the Brecht's life and work; a synopsis of each playlet; an introduction to the context of the play; commentary on themes, characters, style and language; a review of the play in performance; notes on individual words and phrases in the text, and questions for further study.
Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) is acknowledged as one of the great dramatists whose plays, work with the Berliner Ensemble and writing have had a considerable influence on the theatre. His landmark plays include The Threepenny Opera and, while exiled from Germany and living in the USA, such masterpieces as The Life of Galileo, Mother Courage and The Caucasian Chalk Circle.