Art-Vic and Barons Court Theatre's production of Nabokov’s 1936 novel merges a disquieting sense of unease with sly, satirical humour – a combination captured wonderfully in what is a deliciously offbeat adaptation.
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In this darkly comical portrayal of one man’s helplessness in the face of others’ indifference, Cincinnatus – a commonplace resident of a fictional town – is arrested and sentenced to death for an ill-defined crime. Locked in his cell, he exhorts the authorities to let him know, at least, the date of his beheading … only to be denied even that ‘consolation’. Meanwhile, as he awaits his execution, the beleaguered prisoner is visited by a host of characters, who seem completely incapable of understanding (or, at any rate, empathising with!) the gravity of his predicament.