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We witness a hulk of a man, entering a theatre stage – and a theatre stage is what he considers his life to be. A perennial prisoner, who spent the majority of his life in solitary confinement, the man who calls himself Charles Bronson because of his affection for the lonesome avenger of the movies, has not learned anything but to survive – and he has elevated this survival to an art form. And while you are at it, why not enjoy yourself during this existential fight? So we, the audience witnessing Bronson declaring to yet another audience the story of his life, see a lovable beast on stage, proud of the fact that someone declared him to be “Britain’s most violent prisoner”, and we are allowed to revel in the beauty of this beast: Bronson in masquerade, Bronson in a cage, Bronson in a surreal mental hospital that makes “Cuckoo Nest” pale in comparison.

He is a ferocious beast, but not a bad person, yes, well, a ferocious bad person, but we learn that there are ways to sympathise with that kind of creature, and never during the film did I feel regret about anything that happens either to him or to his opponents.

The sensation of this production is Thomas Hardy, a fearless actor, physical, ugly, strong – and naked. They say that only the best warriors can fight to their ability when being naked. Here is one – and one that actually tends to take off the clothes and put on the war colours before taking on a bunch of armed prison guards coming for him. I have not seen many actors pull this off in style, but now Viggo Mortensen ( has a worthy peer in full frontal nudity warriorship…

And never walk a prison corridor without “Twilight of the Gods” weaving you a soundtrack of heroism and adding to your self-perceived largess…

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