Huis Clos by Jean-Paul Sartre, Lyric Studio, 5 August 1989


John White loves a bit of existential angst, so what could be a better choice for a Saturday night out than Huis Clos? Mandy was up for it. Annalisa was up for it. Off we went to the Lyric Hammersmith – the small Studio theatre there.

The play is set in hell, which is said to be a hot place.

It really was o-t ‘ot that evening. Clammy August and naturally the air conditioning system in the Studio wasn’t working.

Here’s my database/diary note for this evening:

The air conditioning had broken down on one of the hottest days of the year.  The Lyric gave us all free squash in the interval because it was so bad.  It did make the play about hell truly multi-sensory.  The line “it’s so hot in here” had the whole audience in stitches.

You don’t need to take my word for this. Here’s a link to a review from “The Stage”.  As Maureen Paton puts it in that review:

…the oven-temperature heat in the Studio does the rest. Hell is too many other people in the audience on a hot night.

Still, we had a good evening as far as I can recall and all four of us dined out on that story for some time. Indeed John still seems to be talking about it as I write in October 2016, as John’s comment on my piece about I, Daniel Blake – click here – confirms.

The rest of the programme follows – heck it was quite a job this evening to dig it out, so I thought I might as well scan the lot while I was at it.





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