In this quirky adaptation of Chekhov’s ‘On the Harmful Effects of Tobacco’, puppet character Nikolai Nikotine (drawn from Ivan Ivanovich Nyukhin), a smoker, is forced by the unseen presence of his domineering wife to deliver a conference on the harmful effects of smoking. Chekhov’s droll and moving monologue on the desire to stop bending to the will of others and stand as a self-governing individual works well as a puppet show– the themes of control and independence acquire a new dimension when it is the puppet who is mourning his loss of free will. Sequences of Russian folk music and dance are cleverly choreographed, and a singing mouse is cute to say the least – this is a readily accessible show.
Paradise In The Vault, 6-27 Aug (not 13, 20), (times vary).
tw rating 3/5 | [Colette M Talbot]