Capitol – Brezhnev’s Children

Capitol Theatre

‘First there was freedom, then there was the Terror and now there’s nothing but mud.’ (Brezhnev’s Children)

The Capitol is MMU’s theatre for students on acting courses within the School of Art.  The course is highly regarded, and it’s a great opportunity to see up and coming talent in often challenging plays that are well staged and performed. I’ve been here before, towards the end of the year, and the performance was excellent.  This was the first of the academic year so I wasn’t sure what to expect. How would this compare?


Maternity Ward on stage

Brezhnev’s Children is set in a Russian maternity hospital just before the huge change in Russia as Gorbachev comes to power.  Immediately the set is striking, six hospital beds ‘in the round’.  The play follows seven women, all from very different backgrounds and with a different story to tell.

The acting is generally good, with characters developing effectively. I especially liked Nadia Emam as Zina and Alice Lamb as Larissa, but all produced great characters that showed their range and potential. The male actors coped well with the transition between male and female roles as they covered the doctor/nurse/maid roles in slightly surreal fashion.  It will be interesting to watch how the actors develop, but on this evidence it’s a good year.

Production is excellent with great use of video shadow screens and lighting to evoke the period and support the story.  Direction is good and makes full use of the available space.

The Capitol Theatre might be off the radar for many, but it’s a place that’s well worth getting to know.

Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

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