Crime and Punishment

Adapted by Chris Hannan
Directed by Dominic Hill
Based on the novel by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Presented by Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, Citizens Theatre, Glasgow and Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh
1st October - 19th October 2013
Liverpool Playhouse

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

This is a masterly adaptation to the stage of Dostoyevsky's 500-page magnum opus, with Adam Best as the destitute student Raskolnikov, utterly compelling as the man wracked by self loathing and guilt after committing two brutal murders in the slums of St Petersburg.

Despite the novel dating back nearly 150 years , a lot of the subject matter still has contemporary resonances. For instance, philosophical issues are raised, such as poverty, the role of socialism in a world dominated by wanton greed and selfishness, class warfare and the relevance of religion.

There is no strict adherence to the original text of Crime And Punishment, which is no bad thing. Instead the language used has a fresh and distinctive style, which adds to the potency of the story.

The uncluttered stage design, created by Colin Richmond, also plays a leading role in the success of the adaptation, helping to convey the multi-layered nature of the story in a cogent way.

This is created, for example, by the utilisation of highly impressive lighting techniques, the imaginative use of simple props and the use of a musical chorus.

Chris Hannan, who adapted this latest version of the novel, stated that it is perfect for the stage because it's dramatic to the core.


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