We don’t envy anyone adapting Dostoevsky’s epic, iconic novel of poverty and crime in 19th Century Russia. Nevertheless, this brand new production has gone down like borscht in a gulag, despite the understandably lengthy running time (150 minutes – you might want to take a cushion).
It’s a bold move to kick off the Playhouse’s Autumn season – the last before the Everyman makes a glorious return in time for 2014. We caught up with director Dominic Hill ahead of the run.
SS: Crime And Punishment? Why now?
DH: First and foremost it’s a great story. But also, the themes that it explores – morality, the rights and wrongs of committing a crime, guilt etc. are as relevant for today as they were 150 years ago. And for me it’s also about our responsibility to society and how we cannot live cut off from the rest of the world.
SS: The adaptation process can’t be easy for a book of this depth?
DH: No I don’t think it was easy but Chris Hannan has done an amazing job. He went through a number of drafts, finessing the focus of the story. In the end we decided very much to focus on Raskolnikov, and ultimately his relationship with Sonya.
SS: Tell us about the cast and design…
DH: The play is presented on a large empty space, with minimal props and furniture. Mainly through music and lighting we represent location and atmosphere.
They’re a great company of actors. Very multi-skilled as well as they all have to sing and play musical instruments. The cast are on stage the whole time so we needed to create a good ensemble of performers.
Crime And Punishment
Win Crime and Punishment tickets
Want a couple of ticket to see Crime and Punishment on 3 October? Simply riddle us this: Where did Dostoevsky serve his exile in Russia? Send your answer to info@sevenstreets with CRIME as the email subject and a contact number by Thursday 3 October