Our National Diploma in Performing Arts students staged Bertolt Brecht's famous play, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, at the Alhambra Studio on 15th and 16th March 2010.
Lecturer Kate Shackleton revealed, "As this was their final major production, the group decided they wanted a challenge and it was certainly a learning curve. Brecht was a highly influential playwright and is someone they are likely to come across in their future careers and it was a great opportunity to delve into his works and style. It introduced the students to a very different way of working - with masks, puppetry and an ensemble style."
The play tells the parallel stories of Grusha, a peasant girl, and a judge named Azdak as their adventures unfold during bitter civil war. The complex plot about love, loyalty, corruption and fraud concerns the baby Michael, pride and joy of the Governor, who is arrested in a coup staged by his brother, the Fat Prince. While his birth mother is more concerned with her comfort than her son’s safety and forgets him in her hurry to leave following her husband’s execution, Grusha risks her life and future happiness to save the baby.
Azdak has inadvertently risked his own life by harbouring a fugitive who turns out to be the Grand Duke. He is saved from death when the Grand Duke returns to restore peace, and dispenses justice in his own distinctive style, supporting the poor against the powerful. Azdak and Grusha’s paths collide when the Governor’s wife returns demanding Michael so that she can claim his inheritance and Azdak must rule who should keep the child.
Jamie Lee Ramsden – Grusha
Zuhayr Chaudry - Azdak, first doctor, peasant
Stephen Lunn – Governor, Jussup, second lawyer
Alicia Norfolk – Governor’s wife, peasant’s wife
Richard Orange – Lavrenti, nephew, second doctor, stableman, limping man, second man
Cain Connelly – corporal
Justice Madikezela – soldier, old man
Andrew Harney – Simon, innkeeper, monk
Adam Mutilinski – Fat Prince, first lawyer
Joshua Fieldhouse – Shauwa, servant, beggar
Nikita Evans – cook, elder lady
Sophie Hirst – adjutant, younger lady
Laura May Harvey – sister-in-law
Kris Grislis – fugitive/Grand Duke, old man
Rebecca Donnison – narrator
Jordanna Standen – narrator