[In his best pyjamas?! I like that pattern, really. ;-) ren]
more from the program:
Reviews: excerpts - full texts
(Nicholas de Jongh's review still remains elusive...)
|The Times, 18 March, 1993
[from a review by Benedict Nightingale]
Griboyedov's bitter comedy does not travel well. Its colloquial witticisms
and scathing rhymes cannot easily be smuggled across national frontiers.[...]
The play is a prolonged excuse for Chatsky to fling about in high-minded
pique, denouncing Moscow and all its works. [...]
The Daily Telegraph, 18 March, 1993
[from a review by Charles Spencer]
Chatsky is a dashing Byronic hero who in Colin Firth's performance spends a lot of time attempting to look soulful and contemptuous at the same time (a tricky task which finally defeats him).
He has returned to Moscow after three years abroad and is deeply
in love with the daughter of Famusov, a reactionary government official.
But the sweet and sexy Sophie (Jemma Redgrave, looking achingly lovely
in her white nightie) has unwisely fallen for her dad's smarmy creep
of a secretary. So Chatsky moons and moans
The Guardian, 18 March 1993
[From a review by Michael Billington]
But it is Colin Firth who carries the main burden as a superbly tormented
Chatsky: combining Alceste's anger with Hamlet's introspection, he makes
you feel that the hero's disgust springs from a genuine social and sexual
idealism. He dominates a vast
|The Sunday Telegraph, 21 March 1993
[From a review by John Gross]
I must admit that I found the first half of Jonathan Kent's production
somewhat sticky going. This is partly because of two less than satisfactory
performances. Jemma Redgrave is simply too nice and too charming as Sophie
- something stronger is called for; Dinsdale Lansden, as her father, defeats
his own comic ends by spluttering too hard and generally overdoing things.
Colin Firth, on the other hand, is an excellent sombre Chatsky; but
at this stage we still wonder whether his Byronism isn't a self-regarding
The Sunday Times, 21 March 1993
[From a review by Robert Hewison]
By convention, comedies end in marriage, and when Colin Firth, as the
tall, saturnine Chatsky, returns from abroad, once more to declare his
love for Jemma Redgrave's rather insipid Sophie, that seems the predictable
International Herald Tribune, 24 March 1993
[From a review by Sheridan Morley]
As Chatsky himself, Colin Firth has some difficulty explaining to us
why the character should have become the Russian Hamlet. True, he has about
him a suitably confused, melancholy despair, and he is the only one of
the company written or viewed sympathetically: but nothing he ever does,
such little as it is, really commands our respect or interest, and there
is a sharp clash between the realism of his delineation and the cartoon
nature of the caricatures placed around him.
The Journal (Newcastle upon Tyne), May 1993: from a review by Andrew Smith
"The cast make a good job of the thinly veiled plot and Colin Firth is convincing at showing Chatsky as a man at the end of his tether. But Burgess should perhaps have looked a little further through the vast archives of Eastern European literature before experimenting on a British audience."
* Minnie Driver appeared with Colin again in the film Circle of Friends
* She plays Colin's fiancée in the film Hope Springs
* David O'Hara was his co-star in Donovan Quick
* The period in which Chatsky is set (early 19th century) coincides exactly with the period of Pride and Prejudice - as a result, some archived photographs of Colin as Chatsky were later mistaken for the images of Mr Darcy.
* As a consummate professional, Colin makes full use of the fact that his ears were pierced in his rebellious youth: he wore a real earring as Chatsky and also as Lord Wessex in the film Shakespeare in Love.
On this performance:
* The Chatsky page on Luvvie's theatre site: http://home.att.net/~luvvie/cf/chatsky.htm
On the play:
* The original title "Gore ot uma" means "Woe from Wit" and was also translated as "The Misfortunes of Being Clever," "Distress from Cleverness," "The Mischief of Being Clever," "The Importance of Being Stupid".
* For the particularly well educated ;-P: Text of the play in Russian (Latin transcription): http://litera.ru:8085/stixiya/authors/griboedov/
* A brief biography: http://10.1911encyclopedia.org/G/GR/GRIBOYEDOV_ALEXANDER_SERGUEEVICH.htm
* Even shorter: http://cr.middlebury.edu/public/russian/bulgakov/public_html//asgriboyedov.html