From the Old Vic to Liverpool Everymanby Michael Coveney / April 14, 2018 / Leave a comment
Published in May 2018 issue of Prospect Magazine
Life and Fate
Theatre Royal, Haymarket, 8th to 20th May
Vasily Grossman’s panoramic novel of Soviet society was seized by the KGB, banned, and later smuggled to the West, where it was first published in 1980. Its first stage adaptation marks the return to London of the Maly Theatre of Leningrad, under the inspirational direction of Lev Dodin. Grossman’s epic tale, which will be performed in Russian with surtitles, follows the fate of a Jewish family during the Second World War. Historian Antony Beevor has described it as the War and Peace of the Stalinist era. Dodin’s company accompany just seven performances of this play with three of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya.
Old Vic, 21st April to 16th June
The Old Vic is exactly 200 years old on 11th May, and that weekend’s anniversary celebrations include a free performance of Joe Penhall’s new play about the music industry, a street party and a fund-raising ball. The play itself redefines the term “music drama” in its squabble over the ownership of a song in a recording studio, the writer besieged by lawyers and psychotherapists. Roger Michell directs Ben Chaplin, Jemma Redgrave (both above) and Pip Carter.