“I am alone,” says the narrator of Dostoevsky’s 1848 short story, a man who has had so little interaction with the world that he has no life story to tell. In a quest for connection, he paces the streets of St Petersburg, spotting familiar faces but remaining unrecognised. His isolation is existential; for all his dreams and desires, he has left no mark behind.
It is a bleak portrait – all the more so when layered with memories of our own lonely wanderings during lockdown – but one of the pleasures of Brian Ferguson’s masterly performance is its sprinkling of humour. This is a man so earnest in his need to be noticed that his desperation becomes funny. If you didn’t laugh you’d cry. [READ MORE]