THERE’S an epic sweep to the Royal Lyceum’s latest production, Bertolt Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle. And there’s an equally epic name leading the company, Auf Wiedersehen, Pet star Christopher Fairbank, also recently in Doctor Who, Hercules, Borgen, Wolf Hall and the movie Guardians of the Galaxy.
In this translation by Alistair Beaton, directed by Lyceum artistic director Mark Thomson, Brecht’s classic is brought to life by a 13-strong ensemble of actor musicians.
That finds Fairbank, starring in his third Lyceum production, joined on stage by Amy Manson, Eamonn O’Dwyer, Shirley Darroch, Andrew Bridgmont , Karen Fishwick , Sarah Swire, Deborah Arnott, Liam Gerrard, John Kielty, Jon Trenchard, Buchan Lennon and a puppeteer, Adam Bennett.
A production “rich in music and song”, the piece is a powerful tale of the terrible temptation to do good.
Revolution – a city turned upside down. The mighty tumble, the weak break their fall and everyone must take care. As she picks a path through the chaos, a young servant girl must make a choice: save her own skin or sacrifice everything to rescue an abandoned child with a price on his head.
Widely regarded by many as one of the greatest plays of the last century, The Caucasian Chalk Circle is peopled with a wild array of vivid and amusing characters.
Written in the wake of the Second World War, this timeless parable continues to ask urgent questions about justice and how to do right when the world goes wrong.
Director Mark Thomson says, “The Caucasian Chalk Circle offers an audience today a wildly exuberant moral and political inventory check.
“It challenges us on how much care we take of our innate sense of right and wrong. And all with a song. And a love story or two. Brecht’s theatre is anything but dry – it’s a celebration of everything theatrical and alongside the fairground rollercoaster of his story you know that it means something.”
The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Royal Lyceum, Grindlay Street, until 14 March, 7.30pm (matinees 2pm), £12.50-£29, 0131-248 4848