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.
Liverpool Everyman, 28th April to 10th July
The country’s only resident rep company are performing four plays over several months in the restored Everyman in Hope Street. Othello joins Paint Your Wagon, A Clockwork Orange and The Big I Am, an adaptation of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt, and features the first woman to play the Moor. And why not, after Glenda Jackson triumphed as King Lear? As that woman is the redoubtable Golda Rosheuvel, the results should be interesting to say the least.