Open-air theatre Zermatt 2019 – «Matterhorn: No ladies please!»
In 2019 at Europe’s highest open-air theatre - 2,600 metres above sea level – were be producing a theatre show for the third year running. The play was called: “MATTERHORN: NO LADIES PLEASE”. The open-air theatre at Riffelberg above Zermatt seated 700 people and the Matterhorn is an integral part of the backdrop. The theatre can easily be reached in 20 minutes with the Gornergrat railway from Zermatt.
The play was spoken in Valais dialect, German and English and was therefore accessible to an international audience.
The play, written by Livia Anne Richard, ran every Thursday to Sunday in July and August 2019.
|Duration||90 minutes, without break|
|Outward journey Riffelberg||According to timetable, last suitable departure from Zermatt: 18.24 h|
|Return from Riffelberg||With special trains. Last connection from Zermatt 22.13 with connection to Visp and Brig.|
|Package with overnight stay||Are you interested in a complete package including hotel and ticket for the open-air games? Please contact Zermatt Tourism.|
|Weather||In case of bad weather, the performance will be cancelled in advance and put on an alternative date.|
The first woman on the Matterhorn – a pioneer goes her own way
At a time when women’s rights, emancipation and their vote were contentious topics Lucy Walker, a British woman, decided to do things her way. On 21. July 1871 she made her ascent of the Matterhorn and was its first female mountaineer. She was a woman who fought against popular conventions, public resistance and prejudices but never once lost sight of her goal. A unique and exceptional story.
Lucy Walker – in love with a mountain
It is hardly surprising that the producer, Livia Anne Richard, should base her third open-air drama on this inspiring woman’s history. The Matterhorn makes a natural backdrop to the play in the Riffelberg theatre. The ‘mountain of mountains’ is present in every scene and the actors bring to life a woman who was considered immodest to even consider sport during that era. Lucy Walker wore a white dress for her climb although at that time most women wore white dresses for their weddings and certainly not for mountaineering. The first open-air play in 2015, “The Matterhorn Story” told the tale of the ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865 when Edward Whymper became the first man to summit and the story of Lucy Walker is the logical sequel in the Matterhorn’s climbing history.
“NO LADIES PLEASE!” with the Gornergrat railway
The trip up to the open-air theatre from Zermatt station with the Gornergrat railway is in itself unique. Just looking out of the train windows gets the audience in the right frame of mind for the play and on the Riffelberg they find themselves in the midst of the alpine world that so attracted Lucy Walker. In contrast to Walker, the audience need have no worries about what to eat on the way up or even the weather conditions. Substantial gourmet catering as well as warm blankets - in case the evenings at over 2,500 m should prove cooler than expected - are all provided as part of the theatre’s service.
The open-air tribune is right next to the Riffelberg station, the Matterhorn is the backdrop and the show is accompanied by live music and spoken in German, English and Valais dialect and is definitely an event that no one should miss.