A new production of The Caucasian Chalk Circle at the Rose Theatre in Kingston has opened – the first major revival of Bertolt Brecht’s play for over 25 years.
Directed by Christopher Haydon, the cast includes Carrie Hope Fletcher (Cinderella, Les Miserables) and Jonathan Slinger (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Urine Town).
The cast also features Ronny Jhutti, Nickcolia King-N’Da, Joanna Kirkland, Shiv Rabheru, Zoe West, Bridgitta Roy and Adeola Yetiman.
Brecht’s tale of justice and humanity gets a new adaptation by Steve Waters, punctuated with original songs by Michael Henry (Barber Shop Chronicles), and is booking to 22 October 2022 at Rose Theatre Kingston.
Mor reviews to follow
Book tickets to The Caucasian Chalk Circle at the Rose Theatre
The Caucasian Chalk Circle reviews
"New production of classic proves a gruelling experience"
"Carrie Hope Fletcher one of few bright sparks on a tough evening for the audience"
" Director, Christopher Haydon, has chosen not to use the traditional banners to introduce each episode and does not to keep all his actors and stagehands in plain sight, so the comforts of Brecht’s more obvious non-naturalistic paradigm are denied us and we take more time orienting ourselves to all these characters coming and going"
"While it’s good to know that, even in these most financially straitened of times, a mid-sized, off-West End house like the Rose Theatre can mount its own production of a monument of Brechtian theatre, it’s disappointing to discover that it’s so tough to love. It really doesn’t have to be this hard."
"Visually striking revival of Brecht’s sprawling wartime parable"
"... Brecht’s epic parable of war, justice and the venal lows and heroic highs of human nature remains all too relevant today."
"Director Christopher Haydon invests the piece with a boisterous energy from the outset. Performers swap fluidly between roles, trying out postures and gestures whenever they depict a new persona for the first time."
"Among the show’s enthusiastic ensemble, Jonathan Slinger stands out with a hugely energetic performance as eccentric judge Azdak. Part-con man, part-folk hero, he dispenses his own idiosyncratic idea of justice with flair. Carrie Hope Fletcher is gripping as Grusha, the former maid who becomes a loving adoptive mother to a violently deposed governor’s infant son..."
"Contextualised into this refugee world, this boisterous new adaptation of Bertolt Brecht's classic by Steve Waters is a timely parable that keeps more than just a hint of the current situation in Ukraine at the forefront of your mind. Indeed, as the revolution begins to take hold in Brecht's fictional Grusinia, there is even mention of it being a ‘special military operation' by the aggressors."
"Despite the levity with which the material is treated, the night is overlong at nearly three hours. The second act in particular loses momentum as the focus shifts to the judge's mock trials and back story. Jonathan Slinger brilliantly commands the stage as Azdak, oozing corruption but somehow digging deep and finding his moral compass just in time – it's a fierce performance but it does become hard work."