Mar 16

Theatre Collection present Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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Theatre Collection present Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Adapted and directed by Victor Sobchak
Crime and Punishment was always going to be an ambitious undertaking, especially with limited stage space and the necessary shortening of the literary epic for the stage. However there is a great deal to like about this production.

 The story itself has always fascinated me, offering psychological insight into the nature of morality, and the many forms of punishment that exist, reaching far beyond simple incarceration. Seeing the play in 2012 also makes me question whether criminals today may be so plagued by guilt and unable to enjoy ill-gotten gains.

 We follow Raskolnikov (played with impressive intensity by Shaban Arifi) an anti hero and our central character. Pressured by the poverty surrounding him, he feels forced to kill and rob a woman who by all accounts is morally bankrupt. In the course of this crime he is interrupted by her sister, whom he also kills.

 The punishment he brings on himself for these heinous acts – despite intermittently justifying them to himself and, at times, others – is enthralling to witness. With money the motivating factor, both for himself and his mother and sister, it is symbolic that he finds himself unable to use the money at all, becoming a miserable and tortured shadow of himself.

 With these issues as the subject, set in Nineteenth Century St Petersburg, the portrayal was always going to be bleak, and while at times the intensive, tortured performances were hard to watch, they felt true to the novel. The use of space, lighting and music was particularly impressive and I really did feel swept away – albeit bleakly – in the performance.

 This won’t be a play for everyone and I wonder if people who haven’t read the novel would get as much from it as I did, but overall I would highly commend such an ambitious and largely successful undertaking.

By Meredith Ettridge

Stars Shaban Arifi and Lucia Edwards.

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  • Anonymous

    Saw this play the other night. I must say, the performances were off the radar… I particularly enjoyed Lucia Edwards as Sonia , she brought such depth to her role. I was so moved. She is one to watch. I for one will be watching her again. Lovely performance.