Dying For It
Opened 15 March 2007
Written: Moira Buffini’s new free adaptation of Nikolai Erdman’s satirical comedy The Suicide
Directed: Anna Mackmin
Cast: Tom Brooke (Semyon), Susan Brown (Serafima), Charlie Condou (Viktor), Michelle Dockery (Kleopatra), Barnaby Kay (Alexander), Paul Rider (Yegor), Tony Rohr (Father Yelpidy), Sophie Stanton (Margarita), Ronan Vibert (Aristarch), Liz White (Masha)
Synopsis:Dying For It centres on Semyon, unemployed, living in the hallway and watching his wife Masha slave all the hours God sends. When his last hope to earn a crust and gain some self-respect disappears, he decides to take his own life. Word gets out of his intention and he finds himself inundated with visitors begging him to die on their behalf. On the night he is to shoot himself they hold a party, at which point events spiral to a glorious climax.
What the critics had to say.....
NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD says, "In Anna Mackmin's exuberant,high velocity production, with Lez Brotherston's effective evocation of a dingy lodging house, the play emerges as a great, neglected drama." RHODA KOENIG for THE INDEPENDENT says, "Much of the laughter inspired by the broad comedy has a hollow ring, especially since the plot, once its premise is established, has no surprises to divert us. For all their earthy humour, the characters are, mainly, weightless." MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, "The joy of the play lies in the way Erdman uses laughter to puncture the notion of a Soviet utopia...this is a sprightly version, niftily directed by Anna Mackmin and atmospherically set by Lez Brotherston." NUALA CALVI for THE STAGE says, "Director Anna Mackmin handles the comedy and pathos with equal assurance, delivering a production that, despite its subject matter, is gently life-affirming." BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE for THE TIMES says, "It’s hard to watch Nikolai Erdman’s wonderfully quirky satire of Soviet life without laughter, but also without pain. That’s partly because Anna Mackmin’s revival catches the funny-desperate tone of the tale of the unemployed man who sees suicide as the answer to the everyday agonies of Moscow in 1930."