Burnt House is the story of a dyer of fabrics whose house has burned down. There are a number of suspects and anyone could be the culprit. Adultery, family criminal activity, and old sibling rivalries emerge as the mystery unfolds. Not only has his house been destroyed, but also the metaphorical walls the house owner has erected.
The play takes place in the cinders of a burned home, on a street where, according to the town's stone mason, "What's buried when it snows comes to light when it thaws." It's a neighborhood where everybody hates, suspects, double-crosses and torments each other. The fire has started gossip; gossip has widened into accusation and all that it rotten has come to light. Into this picture steps The Stranger, an alter-ego for Strindberg himself, who will sort it all out. There is a strong theme of coming home, with the message that you can run away from your problems, but eventually you will have to face your demons.