Tolstoy’s War and Peace on stage

This video says about itself:

War and Peace is a portrait of Russia and her people, caught up in the swirling tides of history during the Napoleonic Era.

Director Sergei Bondarchuk’s Oscar-winner flawlessly recreates Leo Tolstoy‘s epic masterpiece, capturing not only the most minute historical details, but also the emotion, essence, and atmosphere of the classic novel.

From British daily The Morning Star:

Epic sweep of history

(Wednesday 16 April 2008)

War and Peace
Hampstead Theatre, London NW3

ROBERT TANITCH is impressed by a marathon two-part, seven-hour production of Leo Tolstoy‘s irrepressible classic War and Peace.

For many people, Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace is the greatest novel ever written.

During the German siege of Leningrad in 1940, a million copies of the novel, written between 1863 and 1868, were sold in Russia, the readers taking courage from the defeat of Napoleon 130 years earlier.

Prokofiev composed his operatic version of the epic story of Russia during the Napoleonic Wars in 1943. The opera was a morale booster in the same way that Laurence Olivier’s film of Shakespeare’s Henry V was a wartime morale booster for the British.

Helen Edmundson’s adaptation for Shared Experience was first seen at the National Theatre very briefly in 1996.

It returns 12 years later to London enlarged from a single three-hour play to a seven-hour play in two parts, a marathon for actor and audience alike.

Directors Nancy Meckler and Polly Teale’s distinctive house style gives the historical and domestic events an epic sweep in miniature.

The highly physical production is cleverly choreographed and always visually arresting.

There were 26,000 dead at the Battle of Austerlitz, 80,000 dead at the Battle of Borodino and 400,000 dead at the Battle of Leipzig.

The war scenes, inevitably, do not have the grandeur of Sergei Bondarchuk’s 1967 Russian film, but then he had 120,000 soldiers at his disposal and was able to recreate famous tableaus.

The pointless horror of the carnage, a major theme of the novel and this production, is nevertheless vividly recreated.

Leo Tolstoy’s literary fame rests on his historical novel War and Peace: here.

Trotsky on Tolstoy: here.

A THEATRE adaptation of Fyodor Dostoevsky‘s final novel, Delirium takes its themes of reason, faith and doubt as a springboard for an ambitious production that successfully combines physical drama with a fast-moving script: here.

4 thoughts on “Tolstoy’s War and Peace on stage

  1. Soviet stars to stay on uniform

    RUSSIA: Russian MPs on Wednesday voted by 408-0 to reverse their decision in December to have Soviet-era red stars on military aircraft repainted in three colours of the national flag.

    Parliamentary transport committee chief Sergei Shishkarev said that the original measure had drawn public protests, adding: “People feared depriving Russians of a symbol of their great victories.”


  2. Tolstoy novel set to be serialised

    Leo Tolstoy’s epic novel War And Peace is to be turned into a TV epic by the BBC.

    The classic, which chronicles the lives of aristocratic families affected by the French invasion of Russia in the early 19th century, will be made into a six-part series, adapted by respected writer Andrew Davies.

    The new version will be shown by BBC1 in 2015 with casting details still to be finalised.


  3. Pingback: Sir Walter Scott’s first historical novel, two hundred years ago | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Poets Larry Beckett and Bernard Kops, review | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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