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Cyanide at 5
Drama + LGBT

Cyanide at 5

A gripping revenge drama by award-winning Czechoslovakian novelist and playwright, Pavel Kohout.

"I read your book when I was eighteen. I developed a fever. My childhood came to an end at that moment."

Zofia is rich, celebrated, a highly successful novelist and happily married. She lives in Prague’s most fashionable quarter.

But her world is about to change.

With no introduction, a female fan turns up on her doorstep. Irene has flown to Prague having re-read Zofia’s novel and recognised many details of the story.

Now she has urgent questions for Zofia and a forbidding-looking glass vial in her handbag… 

CYANIDE AT 5’s pre-eminent, prizewinning author Pavel Kohout - is the subject of two early Tom Stoppard plays. This haunting, psychological 1997 drama has been performed across Europe, but never in UK theatres. 



Author | Pavel Kohout
Director & Co-Producer | Peter Kavanagh
Co-Producer | Maddy Chisholm-Scott
Designer | Tara Kelly

Zofia | Lise-Ann McLaughlin
Irene | Philippa Heimann

Ticket Price

£12.50 - £15


15 - 26 Nov


King's Head Theatre



'Very powerful… reminding us of the costs of war & persecution, & the rights & wrongs of profiting from the spoils' Theatre News

'A tense drama exploring the enduring legacy of the holocaust' Jewish Renaissance

'The rising tensions & shocking denouement are dramatically effective & keep the audience gripped from start to finish' Morning Star

'Satisfyingly intriguing, a gripping production & engaging performances' The Reviews Hub

'Excellent script... debates art & history with economy & emotional power' Once A Week Theatre

'Wonderful moral debate around cultural & identity misappropriation… certaintly a genuinely interesting watch' Everything Theatre

'Lise-Ann McLaughlin & Philippa Heimann give captivating intense performances throughout this tense thriller' The Artiscape


Duration | Approximately 70 minutes without an interval.

Content Warning | This production mentions themes of suicide & the Holocaust.


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