Past Production – The Four Stages of Cruelty


A new play based on the engravings of William Hogarth
By Adam Brace & Sebastian Armesto
“Lotta people come to London. And where there’s people, there’s opportunity. For a fella with some wits. Mark me lad, the city’s a beast and if you don’t ride it, it rides you.”

24 May – 24 Jun 2011
Arcola Theatre

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1751. London is over-crowded. The morals are as loose as the women and the crime as free as the gin. On the streets, prostitutes, footpads and highwaymen coalesce with Dukes, members of Parliament and anyone in between. All scrap for profit. All seek an escape from the drudgery of life.

Somewhere near the bottom of this heap is an orphan named Tom Nero. Trapped in a brutal and compelling struggle to survive, he grapples, hustles and kills to rise above the fate society has dealt him.

Following their acclaimed productions of Les Enfants du Paradis and The Living Unknown Soldier, simple8 transports this story of wanton cruelty – as pertinent and as visceral as when Hogarth first scratched it – to the London stage.

“simple8 specialise in creating theatrical riches on a shoestring”
The Independent (Critic’s Choice) ★★★★

Read Reviews

Oliver Birch
David Brett
Stephanie Brittain
Christopher Doyle
Hannah Emanuel
Dudley Hinton
Richard Maxted
Emily Pennant-Rea
Mat Wandless

Written & Directed by Adam Brace & Sebastian Armesto
Producer Kirsty Hinton
Music David Brett & Hannah Emanuel
Lighting Designer Michael Nabarro
Costumes Hatty Ellis-Coward
Dramaturg John Ginman
Fight Director Terry King
Stage Manager Fred Fernandez-Armesto