Oran Mor, Glasgow, Mon 11–Sat 16 Feb
Whether it’s your carbon footprint or choice of chicken, it seems the individual’s responsibility for the choices they make are under more scrutiny now than ever. But Resurrection, playwright Nicola McCartney’s adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s last and least-known novel, demonstrates that history has always dictated a need to recognise the effects of one’s actions.
Following the story of a 19th century Russian prince whose roguish behaviour towards a maid-turned-prostitute comes back to bite him on the bum, the play is essentially an anti-romance with wider sociological implications. ‘The basic premise is that everybody thinks of changing the world but nobody thinks of changing their own self,’ says McCartney. ‘There’s a lot of contemporary stuff in it because it’s to do with the law and how we treat the poor; how the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. If you are poor you’ve got no chance in your life and if you are rich you can live in a world that anaesthetises you, living in a bubble. I guess it’s a bit like making the decision to buy fair trade – that sudden realisation that you’re living a great life and enjoying yourself but actually the choices that you make destroy others people’s lives, and therefore you have to change.’
With such meaty principles at its heart, the comic elements will prevent any crying into pints. ‘There are funny moments,’ says McCartney. ‘Tolstoy writes a bit like Dickens, and the humour comes from what you recognise in the relationships and the characters. It’s the middle of the day, it’s pub theatre, it’s a love story. Essentially it’s about will they or won’t they get together.’