Camus’ existentialist masterpiece follows a bland everyman whose awkward passivity leads him inevitably from social isolation to murder to trial to execution. Sticking perhaps too close to the source material, this production directly transposes the text into a just-barely dramatic monologue. Solo performer Leme is intense and concentrated, diligently exploring the nuances of the disconnected central character, but his narration is at times awkward, and his transitions between speakers indistinct. The stark lighting, glacial pace, bare direction and migraine inducing sound are intentional effects intended to underline the horror and absurdity of the premise, but it’s precisely because of these choices that it’s so gruelling to watch. Despite some fine qualities, this show seems destined to remain an outsider.
Summerhall, 3-25 Aug (not 8, 15, 22), times vary.
tw rating 2/5 | [Dave Fargnoli]