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From Russia

From Russia

Open Space Theatre, Fisher Theatre, Bungay

Review published in the Eastern Daily Press and East Anglian Daily Times, 1 December 2012

Ever-inventive Open Space are touring comic Chekhov gems and a poignant ‘what if’ study from two tragedies.

High-energy romp, The Proposal, sees man (Grant Filshill) call on father (Alan Bolton) to ask for daughter’s hand (Emma Martin). A land dispute quickly degenerates into a delicious, insult-throwing barney.

The Bear is a bad-tempered stranger (Stephen Picton) calling on a widow (Cathy Gill) to collect her late husband’s debt. His raging turns to instant infatuation. The old retainer (Patrick Quorn) and the attempted pistol duel are hilarious.

The Evils of Tobacco is a monologue in the form of a lecture from a hen-pecked man (Alan Bolton) which is really about his wife and his own disappointing life.

Afterplay is a Brian Friel duet putting Uncle Vanya’s Sonya (Cathy Gill) with The Three Sisters’ Andrei in an imaginary meeting 20 years after their own dramas. Their hesitant relationship on a tide of vodka and wild hopes is dashed on the realities of lives.

David Green directs perceptively, demanding no pre-knowledge of Russian theatre, just a readiness to laugh and feel a lump in the throat.

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