A newly refurbished Citizens Theatre was blessed with a World Premier worthy of the venue and the City artistic scene.A preview premier of a very rare attempt to bring the Fyodor Dostoyevsky masterpiece Crime And Punishment onto the stage.
A very brave , challenging feat is to attempt to translate the great novel by Dostoyevsky onto a stage setting.Dostoyevsky was not a natural stage dramatist , his novel is littered with moments of the protagonist Raskolnikov starring at his best Friend , his redemptive muse Sonya and various walls of his loft for whole minutes at a time , something even Beckett would not try on a stage.
In this Scotsman article Adapter Chris Hannan shared his anything but unambitious vision for the production.
"“It’s an amazing experience: a crime thriller plus a novel of ideas; a whodunit meets Karl Marx and Jesus Christ,” says Hannan. “Reading the novel, you enter into the mind of the central character, the student who commits murder, and go on a huge emotional and spiritual journey with him. That’s the journey Dominic and I want to give theatre audiences.”"
The psychological tensions between Raskolnikov and the other characters , especially the investigating magistrate would be a deterrent to any lesser talents than this brilliant team of adapter and director.But , they pull this off brilliantly , whilst preserving the major thrusts of the Book.
A remarkable aspect of the direction is the intimacy of the one-to-one exchanges that are central to the Book and its pulling power to draw the reader into the minds and currents of the discourses of the characters whilst having so many People on an open plan stage , adding to the dynamic tension the multi-layers of People who are influenced by the actions of the few.
You can get more information of the talents producing the play in this Liverpool based paper article.
"Dominic Hill’s raw new production will bring this classic story to life for audiences, drawing inspiration from Hill’s own experience working in a raucous Russian theatre. The intimacy and intensity of the rehearsal room where storytelling is honed and refined will be exposed on stage, punctuated by moments of high drama.
Hill said, “Crime and Punishment is one of the greatest novels ever written and I’ve always felt that the theatrical characters and gripping plot would make for an exciting stage show. The novel is rarely adapted for the stage and Chris Hannan’s new version will make it fresh and accessible to those who are devoted fans as well as those who never made it cover to cover.”"