Page extent: 88
ISBN: 9781786820372
Binding: PaperBack

The Emperor

Colin Teevan, Ryszard Kapuściński

PaperBack (03 Sep 2016)

Master of transformation Kathryn Hunter brings to life an extraordinary fable of corruption, avarice and the collapse of absolute power.

A world premiere based on the astonishing book by legendary journalist Ryszard Kapuściński about the decline and fall of Haile Selassie's regime in Ethiopia, from the team that brought you Kafka’s Monkey. Hunter creates a mesmerising cast of characters, all servants to a despotic ruler on the brink of downfall. In a kingdom obsessed with title and tradition, the lowly and the loyal have incredible stories to tell.

Additional Information

ISBN13 9781786820372
Binding PaperBack
Page Extent 88


'The tone is tenderly comic but always earnest... It’s also incredibly moving, a study of a household in which everyone loved the frail, corrupt old man at the heart of it. Though the show leaves us in little doubt that Selassie stole millions from a nation he left to starve, it seeks neither to excuse nor condemn, but merely open a window into the strange kind of love that well-treated servants might feel for a master... ‘The Emperor’ is a study in love; a strange, perhaps misplaced love, but love all the same.' Andrzej Lukowski, Time Out ★★★★

'At first this looks set to be an amusing, detailed parade of oddballs and an exhibition of Hunter’s talents... But then the story becomes darker, as we see the ugly consequences of absolute power...The result, which occupies 70 unsettling minutes, is an intriguing vision of Selassie’s complexities — not a definitive account, but a suggestive take on his shortcomings and the devotion that he inspired.' Evening Standard ★★★★

 'while his production is a showcase for Hunter’s particular gifts, it’s much more than that, it’s an intricate miniature, a rich and intelligent portrait of power, but also of love... Tender, intelligent and human account of a ruler, a messiah and a man' The Stage ★★★★

'a resonant and troubling metaphor for the great melancholy of power.' Michael Billington, Guardian ★★★★