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'The Outsider' or 'The world's gone mad. Hasn't it?'

The Outsider, Albert Camus
The Print Room, 18th September 2018
Written for Time Out

It’s no surprise this isthefirst major UK stage version of Camus’s existential head spinner: ‘TheOutsider’is a nightmare to adapt. How to transform Camus’s spare and pressing narrative into a dynamic play? How to hold on to all that ambiguity and still create an assured production? Booker prize winner Ben Okri is a champion for giving it a go and has created an unsettling and surprisingly amusing show that lingers long inthemind. Designer Richard Hudson has replaced Camus’s blazing sun, which beats down ceaselessly on protagonist Mersault throughoutthenovel, with four rotating ceiling fans.Thefans circle above as Mersault first buries his mother and eventually – because ofthesun, malice or perhaps no reason whatsoever – winds up killing a man. Mersault is imprisoned and sentenced to death and still those fans continue to spin pointlessly above an airless cement block stage.  It sounds pretty bleak and the b…

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