Damned by Despair


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Written in 1635 by the great Spanish dramatist Tirso de Molina, the lay is brought to vivid life in a new version by Frank McGuinness.

A fast-paced adventure story embracing bandits and beautiful women between glimpses of heaven and hell, this subversive and at times riotous exploration of faith and the transformative power of love races across the Italian landscape: relishing the unpredictability of fate, an extraordinary array of characters and their very real dilemmas.

Obsessed with his own salvation, the hermit Paulo (Sebastian Armesto) dedicates himself to ten years of prayerful penance. When his faith wavers, the ever-watchful Devil seizes the moment to convince him that he shares the fate of one Enrico (Bertie Carvel), a notorious Neapolitan gangster destined for damnation. Swearing vengeance, Paulo lashes out against God and assembles a band of rival outlaws. And yet, even as their villainous crimes escalate, the possibility of redemption hovers over the two men, perhaps within reach.

The cast includes Sebastian Armesto, Bertie Carvel, Rory Keenan and Amanda Lawrence.

  • In repertoire
  • £12-£32


Olivier Theatre

National Theatre
South Bank, London, SE1 9PX
infowhat's on @map

Box office: 020 7452 3000


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