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THE FATAL EGGS by Mikhail Bulgakov

adapted by Douglas Baker

Barons Court Theatre 9 – 27 April

 

‘ … visually fascinating with inventive theatricality’

 

 

 

This Bulgakov classic, adapted by Douglas Baker is interspersed with episodes of Bulgakov’s experiences as a writer during the Stalinist period of Russian history.  It highlights the extreme pressures he faces, living in a culture of fear with censorship of his work.   This multi-media show engages the audience with its original approach and use of inventive theatricality.  

 

The story involves the discovery of a ray of life which causes organisms to grow at an outlandish rate.  This discovery is quickly grasped by the media and misrepresented leaving the scientist powerless to be heard.  Eventually the state takes control with disastrous results.  The ray is put to use at a farm to accelerate the production of eggs, but there has been a mix up, Professor Persikov’s order of crocodile, ostrich and snake eggs have been sent to the farmer whilst the scientist receives the chicken eggs.  The Fatal Eggs would seem to be a well chosen satire for the world in which we live today.

 

The show is visually fascinating with movement choreography by Matthew Coulton and animations by Douglas Baker.   Some of the highlights of the show include the reconstruction of the science lab at the beginning of the show, the rhythmic breathing and smoking effect in the first scenes and the actor’s interaction with the projected animations.

 

Alex Chard as Bulgakov is a fascinating watch, with his serious brooding face he creates intensity for the show.  Lucie Regan as Persikov keeps hold of a naturalism which allows her character to shine through and enables the possibility of eliciting empathy from the audience.  

 

Here is a weakness in the show, perhaps due to the narrative cutting through the story, it is generally quite difficult to fully engage with the characters.  It would take the show to another level if we felt some of the confusion, or fear.  The multi-media approach was fascinating in itself but a sense of shape to the show was missing, there was no sense of building to the final terror, it all felt rather on one level.  Each scene similarly needs more shape to make the story completely clear. No doubt as the show settles into its rhythm these issues will be repaired.

 

This young company makes bold choices, they have originality, and this lends much hope for something truly extraordinary in the future.  

 

Photography:  Carl Fletcher

The actors featured prominently in the photos are Alex Chard as Bulgakov and Lucie Regan as Persikov

 

Cast and Crew

Alex Chard-BULGAKOV

Lucie Regan-PERSIKOV

Ben Howarth-CHORUS

Fiona Kelly-CHORUS

@SGTheatre #baronscourttheatre #fataleggs

Adapted and Directed by Douglas Baker

Movement Director Matthew Coulton

Producer Charles Golding

Sound Design Richard Kerry

Animations by Douglas Baker

 

 

THE FATAL EGGS

9TH-27TH APRIL 2019

BARON’S COURT THEATRE

28a Comeragh Road London W14 9HR

BARONS COURT STATION, ZONE 2

7:30PM. SATURDAY MATINEE 2:30PM

£14 (£12 CONCESSIONS)

0208 932 4747

More information/Tickets:  https://www.soitgoestheatre.com/fatal-eggs

 

 

Reviewer Heather Jeffery is founder and Editor of London Pub Theatres Magazine www.londonpubtheatres.com @pubtheatres1 (Email: hjwrites@aol.com)  

Formerly playwright and Artistic Director of Changing Spaces Theatre.  Her plays have been performed at Drayton Arms Theatre (Kensington), Old Red Lion Theatre (Islington), VAULT festival (Waterloo), St Paul’s Church (Covent Garden), Cockpit Theatre (Marylebone) and Midlands Arts Centre (Birmingham)

 

stars 4