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HomeTheatreREVIEW: The Caucasian Chalk Circle at The Rose Theatre Kingston

REVIEW: The Caucasian Chalk Circle at The Rose Theatre Kingston



Throughout a violent and bloody revolution. Grusha Vashnadze (Carrie Hope Fletcher) finds herself thrust into motherhood unexpectedly. The governor has been killed, his spouse fled and he or she’s left behind the new child child. As time goes on and Grusha grows seemingly extra hooked up to the boy offering for him as her personal, the eventual return of the governor’s spouse years later demanding her youngster be returned to her causes turmoil, it’s as much as the unconventional choose Azdak (Jonathon Slinger) to show the justice system on its head with the assistance of the Chalk Circle. 

Instantly Oli Townsend’s set takes our consideration, a big area with minimal on stage, steel single and bunk beds scattered throughout the stage permitting the forged to each use the stage in the course of the present for its supposed function however then use the props round them to assist create the scenes and totally different areas. 

With Steve Waters’ new adaption comes a number of modifications to it, a contact of modernity so to talk. On this model, the ensemble all play refugees, visited by The Singer (Zoe West) whose going to carry out a play (you guessed it, the Caucasian Chalk Circle) to which they’re all going to play characters inside the story while the singer narrates. It’s an fascinating take and a contemporary thought from Waters. Although some concepts simply appear repetitive and uninventive. The musical interludes the singer performs to relate the present and assist transfer it alongside develop into tedious and finally lose the curiosity of the viewers. 

The actors multi-roll the numerous characters all through the story, although some characters seem to really feel considerably gimmicky, panto-esque nearly. Whether or not that’s the Intention of waters’ new adaption of director Christopher Haydon’s inventive alternative we’ll by no means know, you simply couldn’t assist however really feel barely confused, at any time when the characters tried to be dramatic it come throughout as comical. 

Although reward does should go to the actors themselves, no matter they’ve been given to carry out and decisions to carry out they’ve completed a incredible job of it. There’s completely little question the multi-rollers decide to the characters 100 and ten current. Fletcher, usually of musical theatre stardom makes a powerful efficiency as Grusha. Fletcher captures the maternal and delicate facet of Grusha however exhibits an admirable vulnerability. As for her brother Lavrenti (Shiv Rabheru) he’s a joyous addition to the forged, every of his characters is at all times a focus within the ensemble, a completely convincing and pleasurable efficiency to observe.


The true disgrace, nevertheless, is Jonathon Slinger and his Azdak, for an nearly 3-hour play, slinger was Launched with below an hour left feeling nearly too late. By this level, you’re questioning what could be completed to shake issues up. Then alongside comes a breath of contemporary air within the type of Slingers’ literary choose Azdak. A commanding presence on stage that instantly upon introduction takes centre stage. A humorous but partaking efficiency all through. 

Make no mistake, even making an attempt Bertolt Brecht is tough, a lot much less fully modernising it. So hats off to Waters and Haydon for what they’ve created, an fascinating tackle the traditional that has moments of ingenuity however finally you’ll be able to’t assist however query what’s so incorrect with doing the unique. 


Evaluation by George Butler


Score: ★★★

Seat: Stalls K54 | Worth of Ticket: £35

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