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The Caucasian Chalk Circle

by Bertolt Brecht translated by Alistair Beaton

2nd to 9th June 2018


The Caucasian Chalk Circle is a fast moving comedy, laced with both romance and suspense and wrapped in a series of haunting songs, with music written specially for this production.

Brecht has been called the grand master of storytelling and this play is widely regarded as one of the greatest plays of the 20th Century. The translation is a very lively and humorous, contemporary interpretation by award-winning playwright Alastair Beaton. If that name is familiar, he was the author of Feelgood which was presented here in 2007 and also the translator of the version of the comedy The Government Inspector which we performed in 2012.

Based on an old Chinese story, Brecht’s play was originally set in the Soviet Union but in this modern version it will be set in a timeless Eastern European State, ravaged by civil war. The villagers of the affected territory are visited by a pompous Government official, sent to take their land away, but they manage to distract the official, by putting on a play within the play, which becomes the “main event”. Also set in a civil war torn land it is a parable about a peasant girl who rescues a baby and becomes a better mother than its wealthy natural parents. But at what cost to her future with her fiancée, who is away fighting in the war?

The play has a vast array of wonderful comic caricatures with whom our heroine, Grusha interacts as she travels with her adopted baby. The “Singer” provides a constant narration of her adventures until eventually she comes before the Judge, Azdak and is reconciled with her fiancée, Simon.