(Michael Billington’s article article appeared in the Guardina, 10/9.)
Notting Hill, west London. A five-year plan to renovate the building starts with the opening of a 100-seat, black-box studio; with characteristic boldness, the first show is an adaptation of Dostoevsky’s 1864 story, performed and co-written by Harry Lloyd, best known for playing Viserys Targaryen in Game of Thrones.
As we enter, a darkly bearded Lloyd, squatting in a rotting armchair, greets us with a faintly diabolical smile. He launches into a ferocious monologue, revealing the unhappy state of an intelligent, neurotic, exasperated man who has abandoned the world and exists in a state of wilful solitude. The manic verve of Lloyd’s delivery is gripping, reminiscent of Kafka – not least when he talks of being an insect – and Beckett, in his evocation of hermetic despair.