The Caucasian Chalk Circle
Enduring classics of the 20th century are rare but this play, 50 years old next year, has to be numbered among them. The exotic setting, the fantastic, almost storybook chase narrative, the striking poetry and of course, the magnetic lead roles: Grusha, the simple woman who yields to the 'terrible temptation to do good' and Azdak, the vodka-soaked judge, that wisest of all stage clowns combine to make it perhaps Brecht's greatest work.
You may remember Michael Kantor as a performer in Barrie Kosky's The Dybbuk and Es Brent when they were presented here five years ago. If you managed to visit the Adelaide or Melbourne festivals last year you'd be aware that, through his devised pieces Excavation: The Last Days of Mankind and Lenz, he has also made his mark as a young director of outstanding talent and originality.
I was especially impressed by the spectacular theatricality and clear storytelling in Excavation. So when The Caucasian Chalk Circle was mentioned in our talks about him directing for Company B, things clicked.
1998 is also Brecht's centenary year, so a youthful and irreverent re-examination of the play is timely. Informed by the recent chaos in Eastern Europe, Michael's production will burn its images into our minds.
|directed by||Michael Kantor|