The Four Stages of Cruelty
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 rub shoulders 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.