Burnt by the Sun

Peter Flannery

Burnt by the Sun

Colonel Kotov, decorated hero of the Russian Revolution, is spending an idyllic summer in the country with his beloved young wife and family. But on one glorious sunny morning in 1936, his wife’s former lover returns from a long and unexplained absence. Amidst a tangle of sexual jealousy, retribution and remorseless political backstabbing, Kotov feels the full, horrifying reach of Stalin’s rule. 4.4 out of 5 based on 5 reviews
Burnt by the Sun

Omniscore:

Location London
Venue Lyttelton, National Theatre
Director Howard Davies
Cast Ciaran Hinds (Kotov), Stephanie Jacob (Mokhova), Pamela Merrick (Olga), Rowena Cooper (Lidia), Tony Turner (The Truck Driver) Michelle Dockery (Maroussia), Duncan Bell (Vsevolod ), Anna Burnett / Floss Hoffmann / Hattie Webb (Little Girl/Pioneer Girl), Anna Carteret (Elena), Marcus Cunningham (Aronin), Michael Grady-Hall (Andrushya/Pioneer Officer ), Colin Haigh (Mironov), Harry Hepple (Pioneer Officer), Anne Kavanagh (Ensemble), Victoria Lennox (Ensemble), Stuart Martin (Kolya/Pioneer Officer), Tim McMullan (Kirik), Charlotte Pyke (Ensemble), Roger Ringrose (Blokhin) Skye Bennett, Holly Gibbs, Floss Hoffmann, Hattie Webb. Rory Kinnear (Mitia)
From March 2009
Until May 2009
Box Office 020 7452 3000
 

Colonel Kotov, decorated hero of the Russian Revolution, is spending an idyllic summer in the country with his beloved young wife and family. But on one glorious sunny morning in 1936, his wife’s former lover returns from a long and unexplained absence. Amidst a tangle of sexual jealousy, retribution and remorseless political backstabbing, Kotov feels the full, horrifying reach of Stalin’s rule.

Reviews

The Independent

Michael Coveney

There are a lot of movie adaptations on the London stage at the moment but this one takes the palm as a really fine new play by Peter Flannery – best known as the television writer of Our Friends in the North and the recent Civil War bodice-ripper The Devil's Whore – based on Burnt by the Sun, the outstanding Russian film that won an Oscar in 1994...The play is billed as "from the screenplay by Nikita Mikhalkov and Rustam Ibragimbekov." Flannery has performed the miracle of re-releasing a film, not reducing it, as theatre.

05/03/2009

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The Daily Telegraph

Charles Spencer

The show, complete with marching band, sinister secret policeman and young, uniformed Pioneers celebrating the splendours of Uncle Joe, creates a superb sense of place and time, and there are outstanding leading performances from Ciaran Hinds who movingly suggests the crusty general's deep love for his wife and young daughter; Michelle Dockery, who beautifully captures the pain and confusion of a woman torn between two men; and the superb Rory Kinnear, mixing wit, anguish and aggression as the mysterious visitor. Funny, affecting and taut with suspense, Burnt by the Sun is a new play that already feels like a classic.

04/03/2009

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The Stage

Ben Dowell

Writer Peter Flannery brings a luminously tragic poignancy to his stage retelling of the Oscar-winning 1994 Russian film centring on the impact of Stalin’s 1936 terror on the life of a retired fictional General Kotov and his family in the country…This is unquestionably an impressive production of a genuinely chilling play. But there is perhaps one caveat - the women. The gaggle of elderly ladies tolerated by Kotov are little more than ciphers, an absent-minded and nostalgic chorus, yearning for happier times before the revolution. And as Maroussia, Michelle Dockery is allowed to do little more than vent her tear-stained rage and confusion as a helpless bystander at the savage march of history. But that, perhaps, is frightening enough.

04/03/2009

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The Evening Standard

Nicholas de Jongh

Davies’s production develops far less of an atmosphere than Mikhalkov’s wonderful film, whose lyricism was slowly undermined by notes of menace, violence and fear. Davies’s style is too theatrically spectacular — complete with a Young Pioneer Band and a staging reliant on the slightly synthetic vivacity of Kotov’s numerous house guests... Davies’s deathly finale, though no match for the original, brings down the hammer-blows of fate with shocking nonchalance...Burnt By The Sun brings Russian history into riveting close-up.

04/03/2009

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The Guardian

Michael Billington

Our theatre is becoming over-dependent on cinema. But, even if Peter Flannery's adaptation of Nikita Mikhalkov's Oscar-winning 1994 movie can't quite match the original and one misses crucial scenes, I'd still recommend the show for two reasons: the political power of the narrative and the ensemble grace of Howard Davies's fine production

04/03/2009

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