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Belgrade marries Gogol and Chekhov in new Spring Season

Posted on 8 January 2013

Press Release

The Belgrade Theatre presents
Marriage
By Nikolai Gogol, a new adaptation by Laurie Slade
Directed by Hamish Glen
Sat 2 to Sat 23 Feb, B2
Press night: Tues 5 Feb, 7pm

The Belgrade Theatre, Arcola Theatre and KP Productions present
Sons without Fathers
By Anton Chekhov, a new adaptation by Helena Kaut-Howson and Paul Rhys
Directed by Helena Kaut-Howson
Sat 13 April to Sat 4 May, B2
Press night: Tues 16 April, 7pm

The Belgrade Theatre has announced details of its new Spring 2013 Season, which will see Artistic Director Hamish Glen direct a new production of Nikolai Gogol’s rarely performed comedy Marriage. This will be followed by a co-production with Arcola Theatre of Sons without Fathers, a new version of Anton Chekhov’s first play Platonov.

Running in the B2 auditorium from 2 to 23 Feb, Hamish Glen’s production of Marriage follows a series of plays at the Belgrade that explore the theme of marriage, including Scenes from a Marriage, Nora, Strindberg’s The Father and most recently The Dark at the Top of the Stairs.

This new version of the play has been written by Laurie Slade, who also adapted The Father for the Belgrade.

Set during the summertime in St Petersburg, Marriage tells the story of the indecisive civil servant Ivan as he decides it’s finally time to take a wife. His local matchmaker comes forward with a blushing bride-to-be, but she already has a string of suitors lined up to take her hand. Driven to distraction by all the dithering, Ivan’s best friend devises a cunning plan to help wipe out the competition and make sure the day ends with wedding bells ringing.

Hamish Glen said, “The Belgrade has a long tradition of producing plays that explore the theme of marriage, including Scenes from a Marriage, Nora and most recently The Dark at the Top of the Stairs. After working with Laurie Slade on his brilliant adaptation of Strindberg’s The Father last year, we commissioned him to write this new version of Gogol’s play, which provides a more comic look at the institution of marriage.”

The role of the bride-to-be, Agafaya will be played by Janine Mellor, who has worked extensively at Dundee Rep, most recently in 2003 in A Winter’s Tale and Dancing at Lughnasa. Since 2005 she has been playing the role of Kelsey Philips in BBC 1 drama Casualty. Civil servant Ivan Podkolyosin will be played by Mark Fleischmann, whose recent stage credits include The Collector at Arcola Theatre and Young Dick Barton: The Devil Wears Tweed at Warehouse Theatre, Croydon.

His best friend, Kochkaryov will be played by John Hopkins, who has recently performed in Ben Hur at Watermill Theatre and The Deep Blue Sea at Chichester Festival Theatre. The matchmaker, Fyokla will be played by Barbara Young, who returns to the Belgrade after playing the Nurse in The Father.

The cast also includes Jan Goodman (The Killing Moon, Theatre 503), Mark Extance (Travelling Light and Scenes from an Execution, National Theatre), Paul Trussell (6 Actors in Search of a Director, Charing Cross Theatre and The Ashes, Nottingham Playhouse), Robert Morgan (Afterplay, Pushkin House and Oedipus, Hackney Empire) and Nick Figgis (Peeler, Nuffield Theatre and Bouncers, York Theatre Royal).

The set and costumes have been designed by Libby Watson and are being created by Belgrade Production Services. Lighting design will be by Arnim Freiss and musical direction will be by Polina Shepherd, who alongside Merlin Shepherd, will also perform Klezmer and original Russian music of romance throughout the show.

Following its critically acclaimed production of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya in 2011, the Belgrade is teaming up with director Helena Kaut-Howson and London’s Arcola Theatre once again to produce Sons without Fathers, which is a brand new adaptation of Chekhov’s first play Platonov.

This classic tale of sex, vodka and shattered dreams will run in B2 from 13 April to 4 May. Village school teacher Platonov is drawn into a series of extra-marital affairs that all hold the promise of escape from the provincial Russian reality where he and his circle of friends are trapped. Consumed by bitterness and disappointment, they attempt to fill the void in their lives with sex and vodka, blaming their fathers for the mess they’ve been left in.

Looking ahead to the Autumn 2013 Season, the Belgrade’s Creative Associate Joe Harmston, who recently directed The Father on the Main Stage, will return to the Belgrade with his new musical The Prodigals from 30 Aug to 14 Sept. Hamish Glen will also be directing a restaging of the Belgrade’s Coventry Blitz play One Night in November on the Main Stage from 28 Sept to 19 Oct.

Tickets for all of these shows are available now from the Belgrade’s Box Office on 024 7655 3055 or via online where cheaper tickets can be purchased.

ENDS

For further media information or images please contact Ruth Saunders on
T: 024 7684 6715 E: rsaunders@belgrade.co.uk

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