Reviews are coming in for the first theatre production at new Marylebone Theatre – the world premiere of Dmitry, a play based on an unfinished Friedrich Schiller play.
Dmitry stars The Crown’s Tom Byrne in the title role, and runs until 5 November 2022.
Joining Byrne in the cast is Poppy Miller (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) as Dmitry’s mother, Tsarina Maria; Globe Associate Artist James Garnon as Cardinal Odowalsky, and Aurora Dawson-Hunte (The Mirror and the Light) is Marina. The cast also includes Piotr Baumann (Coronation Street) as Korela and Mark Hadfield (Pinocchio) as Prince Mnishek, Ammar Haj Ahmad, Daniel Hawksford, Oleg Mirochnikov, Daniel York Loh, Lev Levermore, Jonathan Oliver, Clifford Samuel and Phoebe Strickland.
Written by Peter Oswald, who was resident playwright at Shakespeare’s Globe under Mark Rylance, Dmitry is directed by former Young Vic Artistic Director Tim Supple.
Dmitry is set in Moscow in 1605. Ruthless tsar Boris Gudonov, former chief of Ivan the Terrible’s secret police, rules through fear and oppression. In Poland, a formidable young opponent – Dmitry – appears claiming to be the missing son of Ivan the Terrible and the rightful tsar of Russia. The Polish army, fuelled by the fear of the Russian threat, takes up Dmitry’s cause to march on the Kremlin to capture the throne. This poetic drama cuts to the heart of 21st century politics through a rich imagining of Eastern Europe and Russia’s shared history.
The Marylebone Theatre, originally known as Steiner Hall, has been recently refurbished as a cross-cultural, mixed use performance space close to Baker Street. The venue intends to produce its own work and receive incoming companies.
More reviews to follow
"Historical Russian thriller resonates"
"Peter Oswald’s take on Friedrich Schiller’s unfinished tragedy shows Russia’s recurrent turn towards tyranny"
"... Tim Supple’s earnest, driving production: a cast of blokes bellow through their beards on Robert Innes Hopkins’ handsome wooden set. Oswald has been carving this material for a decade, but the tussle over the soul of Russia and the nation’s recurrent turn towards tyranny inevitably feels pertinent. Big lies go head to head, and everyone enlists God for their cause: “Heaven has spoken – what will Earth reply?” Who controls the narrative, the play asks; whose story of the past will determine the future?"
"The brand-new Marylebone Theatre opens its doors with this gripping Schiller curio"
"The Marylebone Theatre is an unexpected new addition to London’s theatre scene. A 220-seat venue located in Rudolf Steiner Hall, it’s been knocking around for years (Alec Guinness put on a play here in 1939!) but has now suddenly become a producing venue."
"An unfinished Friedrich Schiller drama completed by playwright Peter Oswald, it’s the sort of show you might expect to see at the National Theatre on a megabudget or at the Almeida with a starrier cast or creatives. As it is, ‘Dmitry’ has a cast of 17 very respectable actors, directed by former Young Vic boss Tim Supple. On payroll alone it’s clearly not cheap – it seems almost inconceivable it could break even on ticket sales, and is presumably being subsidised by somebody or other – but neither does it have the funds behind it to push into being the sort of sweeping spectacle Schiller’s epic storyline demands. Those caveats accepted, ‘Dmitry’ is engrossing stuff. "
"Knotty tale of toxic nationalism"
"Weighty, if sometimes overwrought, take on Friedrich Schiller opens the new London venue"
"In a production by Tim Supple, it proves a sometimes self-consciously weighty, serious piece of theatre, steeped in Schiller’s abiding interest in individuals caught up in the relentless march of history and tradition"
"The play really kicks into gear in the second half, after a plot twist about Dmitry’s identity raises a host of intriguing questions about the sacrifices people are willing to make to achieve their goals, and how much they are willing to manipulate the truth"
"Dynastic ding-dong that befuddles then bewitches"
"An unabashedly high-theatrical style that at first makes you clutch your seat in fear that you’ll never follow all the Russian and Polish names, all the politicking, all the history? A dynastic ding-dong: House of the Dragon with no dragons. Not to worry, theatregoer. This new adaptation by Peter Oswald may start out befuddling, but it ends up bewitching."
"The supporting cast is uneven, but there are fine performances here. Tom Byrne has the deceptively easy strength of purpose of a young Hugh Laurie as Dmitry,..."
"It’s Big Theatre: not flawless, but admirably ambitious, mountingly involving and rewarding."