a new adaptation by Chris Hannan based on the novel by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

Liverpool Playhouse Williamson Square L1 1EL To 19 October.
Mon-Sat 7.30pm except 9 Oct 5.30pm Mat Sat 2pm & 10, 17 Oct 1.30pm.
Audio-described 10 Oct 7.30pm.
Captioned 19 Oct 2pm.
Post-show Discussion 14 Oct.
Post-show Discussion (schools and young people) 9 Oct.
TICKETS: 0151 709 4776.

then Royal Lyceum Grindlay Street EH3 9AX 22 October-9 November 2013.
Tue-Sat 7.45pm Mat Wed & Sat 2.30pm.
Audio-described 31 Oct (+ Touch Tour 6.15pm), 2 Nov (+ Touch Tour 1.15pm).
BSL Signed 6 Nov.
Captioned 9 Nov 2.30pm.
Post-show Discussion: 29 Oct.
TICKETS: 0131 248 4848.

Runs 2hr 45min One interval.
Review: Timothy Ramsden 27 September at Citizens’ Theatre Glasgow.

Spirit as well as story of a great novel expressed on stage.
If there’s one person more disturbed and mind-divided than Raskolnikov, protagonist of the novel that kept readers of The Russian Messenger gripped through its monthly issues in 1866, it’s author Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Charles Dickens had matched him for pictures of social poverty, and malicious minds, but Dickens remains outside. Dostoyevsky plunges in – or is already inside – his central character’s mental and emotional states.

He too could crawl degraded before someone, he had already examined the division of the mind, notably in The Double but elsewhere too – enough to show understanding of a mind divided, undecided, humiliated and in turmoil.

So, here is a central character who bungles a small-scale robbery, becomes a double-murderer and in contrast to his student ideas about moral invulnerability, finds himself uncertain amid other characters who lie and cheat, able to find some kind of value only in his relationship with Sonya, who prostitutes herself to feed her family.

Dominic Hill’s production goes from its run at his own theatre, Glasgow Citizens’, to Liverpool and Edinburgh. According to any audience member’s theatrical experiences it will seem somewhere from wildly experimental to another case of European avant garde.

It certainly shows teeming urban Russian society’s least urbane sections, and the restless uncertainty of Raskolnikov’s mind. He thinks of the attic door of the old woman he’ll kill and it wheels into place. Drum sounds and set-pieces are operated visibly on a stage open to the theatre walls.

Scenes like Sonya’s father being run-over, group suddenly. Police Inspector Porfiry and his men interrogate Raskolnikov with a mix of apparent calm and clownish behaviour (red nose day at the copshop) which suggests Dostoyevsky prefiguring Kafka.

A graveyard used by prostitutes or a chorale singing Nikola Kodjabashia’s Russian folk and Orthodox-tinged music, create a society in an instant. George Costigan’s Porfiry, controlled and deliberate even when clowning around, at one point accompanying his questions with the plucked string of a double-bass, and Adam Best’s Raskolnikov, restless in action and in talking direct to the audience, are well-contrasted in an ensemble production which catches the disturbance and complexity of Dostoyevsky’s novel.

Raskolnikov: Adam Best.
Nastasya.Lizaveta/Amalia: Mabel Clements.
Marmeladov/Porfir Petrovich: George Costigan.
Dunya: Amiera Darwish.
Skabichevsky/Lebezyatnikov: Chris Donald.
Alyona/Pulkberia/Katerina/Darya: Cate Hamer.
Sonya: Jessica Hardwick.
Ilya Petrovich: John Paul Hurley.
Luzhin/Nikolai: Jack Lord.
Razumikhin: Obioma Ugoala.

Director: Dominic Hill.
Designer: Colin Richmond.
Lighting: Chris Davey.
Sound/Composer: Nikola Kodjabashia.
Movement: Lucien MacDougall, Benedicte Seierup.
Assistant director: Danielle McIlven.

2013-10-01 06:18:52

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