City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Crime And Punishment

By Bill Dunlop - Posted on 23 August 2007

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Venue 13
RSAMD in collaboration with Egregor
Running time: 
Katya Kamostskaia (director), Ruth Murfitt (stage manager), Romina Memoli (lighting design), Abe Ahmed (sound)
Fergus Johnston (Raskolnikov), Anneika Rose (Sonya), Thomasin Rand (Dunyasha), Andrew Root (Razumikhin), Edward Corrie (Porfiry Petrovich), Michael Goldsmith (Luzhin), Melody Grove (Katerina Ivanovna), Jeremiah Reynolds (Marmeladov)

'Wan hour twenty minutes! Have they read the f****r?' as this reviewer's
friend Kevin put it on learning the length of RSAMD's production of 'Crime and
Punishment'. He has a point. 'Crime and Punishment' is probably the best known
of Dostoyevsky's novels. Although not the longest, it exemplifies the author's
tendency to rackety plot, large range of characters representing differing
moral stances, spiritual musing and moralising on the Russia of his day. A wee
bit of a challenge even for the BBC, whose radio adaptation of recent years
took up four hour-long episodes.

There is some good work being done in this
production, most notably by the ladies. Anneika Rose makes a noble attempt at
Sonya, forced into prostitution by the profligacy of her drunken father,
Thomasin Rand tackles the difficult role of Dunyasha, sister of the doomed
protagonist Raskolnikov with élan, while Melody Grove's Katerina Ivanovna works
particularly well in the earlier part of the play.

Fergus Johnston does the best he can with
the Raskolnikov the script gives him, Edward Corrie makes a fine foil as
Porfiry Petrovich, the investigating officer of Raskolnikov's crime, while
Michael Goldsmith also works hard and to effect as Luzhin, Dunyasha's
unsuitable suitor.

Our problem as audience lies not in the
cast, but in the script, which has perforce been reduced to some very bare
bones indeed. The translation and adaptation are not credited in the programme,
but have a very transatlantic feel, the forms of address insensitive to Russian
social mores of the time. This would be pedantic if Dostoyevsky's purposes had
been more delicately handled, but a stumble toward this at the end of the play
fails to retrieve very much.

As indicated, there is some worthwhile
effort here, and it's to be hoped that some of these students will go on to
careers in theatre. However, given some of the significant achievements of the
National Theatre of Scotland over the past year or so, those who may in future
become part of it deserve a better start to their professional lives than this
production offers.

Time: 5.00pm, 20-26 August

Copyright Bill Dunlop 2007. Published on 2007