Play of the Week: Boris Godunov, Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon
Saturday 15 December 2012
The Royal Shakespeare Company is the natural home for Pushkin's great drama, with its echoes of Macbeth and the history plays, and its policy of commenting on the political turmoil of its own era, the 1820s, through a depiction of the unrest in an earlier period – Moscow at the cusp of the 17th century.
Given a springy translation by Adrian Mitchell, and incisively directed by Michael Boyd, this production marks its English-language premiere at a flagship theatre.
With feigned reluctance, the title character takes the throne by demand after the death of Ivan the Terrible but his reign is dogged by rumours that he ordered the murder of Ivan's son. A monk, Grigory, challenges his authority by assuming the identity of this rightful heir and raising an army.
Crackling with topicality, the play is a mordant commentary on the instabilities of power, which Boyd's production is alive to in the modernity that creeps into the clothing and the physical black slapstick.
(0844 800 1110; rsc.org.uk) to 30 Mar
Arts & Ents blogs
St Patrick’s Day 2014: The worst Irish accents in film history
Under The Skin, film review: Scarlett Johansson is full-blooded as femme fatale alien
Grace Dent on TV: EDL Girls: Don’t Call Me Racist BBC 3
Best films on Netflix: 32 movies that will put an end to your scrolling
Chalkie Davies' stunning rock photographs: The Clash, Springsteen, Bowie and more
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
Europeans have ‘got whiter’ due to natural selection in past 5,000 years, scientists say
Fracking is turning the US into a bigger oil producer than Saudi Arabia
The rise of Ukip: Study warns Labour that Eurosceptic party's electoral base now 'more working class than any of the main parties'
- 1 Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
- 2 Best films on Netflix: 32 movies that will put an end to your scrolling
- 3 Istanbul protesters take 'Ellen selfie' from the back of a police van
- 4 Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Jet ‘hi-jacking’ began soon after take-off
- 5 Lady Gaga has struggled with eating disorders in the past, so it's indefensible that she's glamourising bulimia in her SXSW set