Book and Lyrics by Timothy Knapman
Music and Lyrics by Laurence Mark Wythe
Based on the play “Citizens of Hell” by Elchin
As the clock ticks towards midnight on New Year’s Eve, a husband and wife talk nervously about what the future holds for them and their fellow citizens.
Welcome to Azerbaijan, part of the police state of the Soviet Union in the dying minutes of 1937. The past year has been the worst of the Great Terror, in which the paranoid dictator Joseph Stalin unleashed wave upon wave of arrests. Millions have been tortured and executed. Informants and spies are everywhere. No one knows who to trust.
And then comes the dreaded knock on the door. Is it the NKVD, the state’s ruthless secret police? Or a far more mysterious – and terrifying – visitor? Dark secrets emerge, time is suspended and the husband and wife are tested to breaking point – and beyond…
★★★★ “an enthralling evening” Musical Theatre Review
★★★★ “Catchy tunes, zingy one-liners and great performances. A hugely enjoyable riot.” Everything Theatre
★★★★★ “a highly impactful, beautifully-crafted musical” The Spy in the Stalls
★★★★ “an impressive score, clever staging and bags full of emotion throughout” Musical Manda
St James Theatre, London; October 2015
Directed by Matthew Gould
Produced by Aloff Theatre
Daehakro Art One Theater 2, Seoul, South Korea; January-February 2017