I know, it was just asking for trouble. Joakim Groth’s ninety-minute play, translated by Julian Garner, comes from the Swedish Theatre in Helsinki: it must be a strange place indeed where mixing with critics is thought of as mixing with criminals and some of them – yes, really! -- write unfavourable notices.
You can imagine a good psychological thriller where an aggrieved director corners a bovine scribe at gun point, and you’ll have to. The director’s brother, Marcus Groth (he’s played Raskalnikov and Chekhov’s Gayev), is obviously a good actor, but he’s left clutching at straws as he doesn’t have any building bricks.
The smug critic is implacable, his wife doesn’t understand him (and half agrees with the critic, anyway), then leaves him, and the playwright he meets in prison turns nasty, too. Why wasn’t his wife having an affair with the critic, I wondered, half way through? Then I gave up and thought about killing myself.