But before that can be accurately proclaimed, Berenger has to accept the fact that he is going to die. So far he has kept going on a sort of mean momentum. He is not a good man, never mind a good king. He has massacred countless in numerous wars and has had many relatives murdered in order to keep the crown on his head. In a sort of external parallel to his internal state, his kingdom is violently deteriorating, with numerous earthquakes devastating the country and crumbling his palace. The youth of the country are growing old abruptly. The population has been decimated as the sea has inundated the land. The doctor tells him that the universe is falling apart, with the Milky Way curdling and "snow falling on the North Pole — of the sun."

"Oh, why was I born if it wasn't for ever," Berenger laments. "Damn my parents!"

Well-acted, well thought-out by the directors and, let's not forget, ingeniously written by Ionesco, this production of Exit the King is something to catch. Especially if you've been considering coming to terms (eventually, later, someday) with that pesky matter of mortality.

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