Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh, Fri 27-Sat 28 Oct, then touring
Ask any critic, or for that matter, any regular theatregoer for their top ten pieces of political theatre, and surely all would put Brecht’s classic of war, gender and class up there. The reasons? Perhaps they’re far too complex and extensive to state here, but we could start with the way in which our expectations of drama are constantly confronted by the piece. Just as the play moves toward soft melodrama and sympathy for its title character, Brecht pours cold water over the matter, and we zoom out to the bigger issues that oppress her, and away from the drama surrounding her children, who are lost one by one in a time of war. Seduced by myths of entrepeneurship, she is as much a perpetrator of grotesque capitalism and its cruelties as a victim.
Here presented by Peter Clerke’s experienced team at Benchtours, this piece follows their Caucasian Chalk Circle of a few years back, which was a pretty well-received production. An experienced cast and a classic story might well make this a thought-provoking, and still very relevant night out.