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Children Of The Sun National Theatre, London


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#11 mallardo

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 09:59 PM

Indeed there are shades of Chekhov - characters living in a bubble, everyone in love with everyone else - but, on this showing, Gorky is much cruder and clunkier than his great contemporary. It's a play of ideas but the ideas are too often presented raw rather than emerging naturally from character.  The last act especially feels like a jumble with the heavy handed Hamlet/Ophelia thing and characters who have run out of new things to say. Nothing but praise for Howard Davies' production though, or the cast - especially Lucy Black as the abject Melaniya.  I thought she was astonishing every moment she was on stage.
Excuse me if I seem jejune
I promise I'll find my marbles soon.

#12 El Peter

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 07:08 AM

That's a nice feature of plays at the National, seeing the likes of Emma Lowndes, Emma Black and others unfamiliar to me at present but who may build up work over several plays and raise their profile.

#13 Epicoene

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 08:26 AM

View PostLynette, on 26 April 2013 - 11:58 AM, said:

Yes Paul Higgins good. But it isn't a very good play is it? Kinda sub Ibsen.
I agree. The Ibsen with the same plot device is up next at the Young Vic. Will be interesting to compare. Both with a fairly crass "adaptation" I assume.

#14 Punk Rock

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 08:46 AM

I enjoyed the somewhat antiquated philosophical discussions which increasingly brought into view the contrast between their own concerns and the more pressing ones of those outside.  

Overall, I found it well paced, engrossing with a well executed last five minutes.  

I find the comments about very interesting as I find Chekhov rather dull and pedestrian, but I usually enjoy Ibsen's plays.

#15 mallardo

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 11:10 AM

Without giving away the ending (which everyone seems to know anyway), the finale of this play demonstrates the difference between the sensibilities of Gorky and Chekhov.  Whereas Gorky's dramatic trajectory builds to a huge and definitive climax at the last moment, Chekhov's plays tend to reach their dramatic climax earlier - Vanya's mad outburst, e.g. -  with the last scene being a slow wind down back to things-as-they-were-and-always-will-be, for me a far more poignant and tragic fate for his characters.
Excuse me if I seem jejune
I promise I'll find my marbles soon.

#16 The Glenbuck Laird

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 09:51 PM

Seen a few Russian adaptations in the last eighteen months and I liked this play as much as Vanya. Really liked the stage design and lots of the acting performances. And then the explosive finish. Decent couple of hours spent at the theatre

#17 armadillo

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 10:35 PM

I didn't know the ending and nor did the people around me, judging my the gasps and jumps.  Had anyone seen it before? Is it normally updated?

#18 Epicoene

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 10:39 AM

View Postarmadillo, on 05 May 2013 - 10:35 PM, said:

I didn't know the ending and nor did the people around me, judging my the gasps and jumps.  Had anyone seen it before?
No. The RSC has done most of Gorky's plays (David Jones directed most) but their production of this one (Terry Hands/Alan Howard as the vet) was in 1979 and before my time.

#19 armadillo

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 02:54 PM

View PostEpicoene, on 06 May 2013 - 10:39 AM, said:

No. The RSC has done most of Gorky's plays (David Jones directed most) but their production of this one (Terry Hands/Alan Howard as the vet) was in 1979 and before my time.
  I found a Billington review of that. Like his review of this production, it was about 40% about Chekhov :lol:

#20 Boob

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 05:56 PM

Thought this was excellent.  Theatre not very full this afternoon, but an ecstatic reception at the end.  Go see.




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