This specific production does not yet have a description, but the play itself does:

Andrei Vukhov, a Russian Army captain, stands alone before his judges.

Vukhov is a fiction. So, broadly, is the story he tells. Certain details, however, are factual: they relate to an episode of the Second World War. The location was a hilltop monastery in southern Poland. What happened there is described, briefly, in George Steiner’s book “The Death of Tragedy”.

Abandoning the monastery, the Germans left a number of captured Soviet officers locked in a cellar. Two of the prisoners managed to stay alive by killing and devouring their companions. Eventually the survivors were found – crazed – by the advancing Red Army. First they were given a decent meal. Then they were shot, “lest the soldiers see to what abjection their former officers had been reduced” (Steiner). Afterwards the monastery was destroyed.

Vukhov’s monologue is a re-imagination of the monastery incident, based on the premise that one of the survivors was sane, and was asked to give a report before facing judgement. Standing, as it were, ‘in white hospital tunic and regulation-issue slippers’, he faces the audience …

Judgement was first given an experimental reading by Peter O’Toole at the Bristol Old Vic in January 1974. It was first performed on stage in September 1975 by the National Theatre at the ICA, starring Colin Blakely and directed by Peter Hall. Since then, it has been performed in more than a dozen countries and translated into eight languages.

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