Roger Allam stars in Michael Frayn's new play Afterlife. Michael Blakemore directs.
Max Reinhardt, one of the greatest impresarios of theatrical history, had a lifelong ambition - to dissolve the boundary between theatre and the world it portrays. Each year at the Salzburg festival he directed a famous morality play, Everyman, about God sending Death to summon a representative of mankind for judgment. The victim he chooses is a man who, like Reinhardt, rejoices in his wealth and all the pleasures that money can buy.
Then in 1938 Hitler declares his own day of reckoning and sends Death into Austria - whereupon Reinhardt, a Jew, is left as naked and vulnerable as Everyman himself. Frayn's Afterlife is the story of how Reinhardt achieves his great ambition; though in a way he can scarcely have foreseen.