Friedrich Dürrenmatt was born on 5 January 1921 in the Emmental, Switzerland, the son of a Protestant pastor. At the age of 26, his first work, It Is Written, premiered to great controversy, and he went on to write many successful and challenging plays, including Romulus the Great and The Physicists. He was a proponent of epic theatre whose plays reflected the recent experiences of World War II. He wrote avant-garde dramas, satire and philosophical crime novels and he was a member of the Gruppe Olten. Dürrenmatt died from heart failure in Neuchâtel in 1990, aged 69.