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Underground review at Theatre Royal Brighton

Created by Tristan Sharps, the founder of Brighton’s dreamthinkspeak, Underground is a unique concept of theatre, using the whole of the Theatre Royal from the Upper Circle to below stage, prop rooms, bars, foyers, every space available in this glorious old building.

Based on Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, the cast mingle with the customers, as the multi-national actors, speaking a variety of languages, act out the story of the impoverished student who commits a gruesome murder and has to come to terms with his crime. The action is continuous throughout the theatre with a low dive bar, complete with violinist, offering you real vodka. Film of trains pulling in and out of stations is shown on the main stage and, as the front tabs rise, more film of walking feet appears on a sheet draped around the Royal Circle.

A police interrogation room, where the sound of running water adds to the eerie atmosphere and, as you wander up and down staircases with the occasional actor sitting motionless on a landing, the lighting is dim.

Violent action takes place in the Circle Bar where Gergo Danka, speaking Hungarian, draws a gun on Cristina Catalina. Julia Munrow, speaking Russian, is utterly convincing as the dying consumptive, and so is the entire cast along with the large chorus of actors who walk around without uttering a word although one is unable to applaud them.

This is a quite remarkable theatrical experience, the logistics of which defy description.

Production Information

Theatre Royal, Brighton , May 24-28

Author/director
Tristan Sharps
Producer
dreamthinkspeak, Bettina Lindstrom
Cast includes
Cristina Catalina, Julia Munrow, Gergo Danka, Iain Pearson, Johannes Flaschberger
Running time
4hrs

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