As Brecht also observed tellingly at the end of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, 1941, shortly being revived at the Donmar, things come round again. Just when you think humans may have learnt something from history, off we go again.
In the unnamed town that the five characters inhabit, any hope or joy is promptly quashed and left in a pool of despair on the floor, just like the mysteriously dying rats that plague the streets. It’s not a fun evening, but nonetheless makes for a formidable and incredibly disquieting piece of theatre.
There is an appealing simplicity to the narrative of Camus’s 1947 novel: originally set in Oran, in French Algerian, the book tells the story of a devastating infection that starts off slowly but eventually leads to social and economic crisis as the city gates are closed and its people become prisoners.
City Stories returns to London for two nights only on 20 and 21 October 2016. A suite of short plays set to music, the fully-titled City Stories: Tales of Love and Magic in London is a sequence of interwoven love stories written and directed by award-winning playwright James Phillips in an ode to our beloved capital.