A girl must make a choice… to take the child and run, or leave him behind in the fury of civil war.
Bertolt Brecht’s thrilling and revolutionary 1943 play follows a young girl who makes the biggest decision of her life. Set against the back drop of war and mutiny, Grusha seeks refuge and asylum. Her crime: saving the son of the fleeing establishment. Her reward: The Chalk Circle.
This inventive ensemble production draws on Brecht’s pioneering techniques and thrilling text, in a translation by Frank McGuinness and set to an original score. Launching Lazarus Theatre’s 2016 season, The Caucasian Chalk Circle marks the company’s return to The Jack Studio in Brockley, south London, after its sell-out productions of The Revenger’s Tragedy and The Merchant of Venice.
Lazarus is an award-winning theatre company, re-imagining and revitalising classic text for a contemporary audience. Its 2016 productions – both of which I loved – included an all-female Henry V (Union Theatre) and Tamburlaine (Tristan Bates), for which I also hosted a debate on the reworking of Marlowe, Hamlet and other classics.
Brecht, arguably the father of modern political theatre, inspires the new Chalk Circle discussion on the role of politics in theatre. We ask:
Can theatre be a catalyst for real change? How has political theatre evolved in recent years?
I’ll chair a panel comprising: Lazarus artistic director Ricky Dukes and the company, prolific theatremaker Stephen Unwin (formerly artistic director of the Rose Theatre, Kingston and English Touring Theatre) and political journalists Bobby Friedman and Rupert Myers, who have penned the new musical satire, Corbyn The Musical, which premieres in April. The Q&A is free to all ticket-holders.