The group of friends have arrived before us.

They are at ease with each other – drinking, smoking, and listening to music. Their body language conveys familiarity and camaraderie. There is comfort and security in this tribe.

JB (Majd Mardo) is taking candid photos of his friends, intimate portraits he will later use as source material from which he will pave a career as a successful visual artist. He chats freely with Willem (Maarten Heijmans), a future famous Actor, and Malcolm (Edwin Jonker), who will become a successful Architect.

And then there is Jude (Ramsey Nasr).

He is so unassuming as to initially appear utterly unremarkable, but Jude is damaged beyond repair and harbours secrets so heinous they cannot be uttered. His rendition of Mahler’s Rückert Lieder, I am Lost to the World, should be all the clues we need that things will not end well in this disturbing production based on the 2016 bestselling novel of the same name, by Hanya Yanagihara.

With concept and direction by Ivo van Hove (General Director of Internationaal Theatre, Amsterdam), the diminutive title belies the harrowing and wretched journey we are to take over four very,...