Friday, 3 January 2014

'Fortune's Fool' The Old Vic *****

 I have seen a large amount of theatre productions over the past year and Mike Poulton's version of Ivan Turgenev's 1848 play 'Fortune's Fool' is one at that has amazed me because of how wonderful it is. The production focuses around the character Kuzovkin who's a poor man and is living in a cupboard in a Russian country estate becomes happy and excited when the young woman Olga Petrovina returns home as a married woman to the strong minded Government official Pavel Nikolaith Yeletsky. However there celebrations are ruined by their ghastly neighbour Flegont Alexandrovitch Tropatchov and here's unflattering friend Karpatchov who nastily get Kuzovkin incredibly drunk and make him feel like the court jester of the party. I found the entire narrative to be vastly captivating as well as being highly clear and coherent which is wonderful to witness. So a massive well done to Poulton on a miraculous version of this classic text. It's a production that makes you value the people you socialise with daily and questions he you should avoid at all costs. Sarah Bird's casting for this production is nothing more than exceptional as her decisions have made a huge impact that has proved successful here. Unfortunately, due to their indisposition of Iain Glen, Patrick Cremin played the lead role Kuzovkin and for me he performs the character with such precision and ease that you don't seem to mind that the style is unavailable. Richard McCabe's portrayal of the arrogant and unlikeable Tropatchov it's phenomenal as he captures the lacklustre aspects of the characters personality to the highest level of characterisation imaginable. Lucy Briggs-Owen is brilliant as the Lady of the Manor Olga Petrovina and Alexander Vlahos is amazing as her new husband Pavel Nikolaith Yeletsky. The director of this touching and engaging play Lucy Bailey is electrifying as she has encapsulated the sadness and pain that Kuzovkin has had to endure his whole life. The precision in her direction and timings are nothing but perfect and emotive. William Dudley's design is just simply beautiful as it details the life of the wealthy people of Russia of the time period. It seems that there has been great thought behind the design. It's safe to say that The Old Vic has returned to producing outstanding productions compared to its previous woeful Shakespeare production of 'Much Ado About Nothing'. It's a production that you should purchase tickets for.

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