A famed author meets the daughter of a Holocaust victim and finds they have a greater connection than she could have feared, in a haunting psychological drama, Cyanide at 5 , opening at King’s Head Theatre.
Written in 1996 by dissident Czech playwright and novelist Pavel Kohout, whose experiences inspired two Tom Stoppard plays, Cyanide at 5 is the unfolding of a meeting between two women: a novelist and a seeming fan.
Zofia, a writer whose only novel has made her rich and famous, is flattered by a visit from Irene, a younger Jewish woman whose mother was a victim of the Holocaust. And for whom Zofia had an unrequited passion. But Zofia’s novel has chimed with Irene in a darker way. She has a bottle of cyanide in her handbag.
Director Peter Kavanagh said, “I am fascinated by this play. It’s full of dramatic surprises, and life-changing revelations – for both characters. Kohout’s fine writing mixes dramatic language with metaphors on his own craft: authentic authorship.”
Cyanide at 5 is at King’s Head Theatre 16 – 26 November 2022.