Socialist Worker

The Caucasian Chalk Circle

by Christian Hogsbjerg
Issue No. 2174

Steven Meo and James Clyde in The Caucasian Chalk Circle  (Pic: Keith Pattison)

Steven Meo and James Clyde in The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Pic: Keith Pattison)

Bertolt Brecht’s classic play reveals the pomposity and naked prejudice of the privileged and powerful towards the supposedly “uneducated lower orders”.

This excellent production uses Alistair Beaton’s new translation of the text.

The main character is a refugee from war, a woman who saves the life of an abandoned baby – here skilfully portrayed through some masterful puppetry.

The plot forms around her struggle to survive and to protect the infant, but the play goes further, raising critical issues about the nature of war, ownership, justice and class society.

The play evokes the human cost of war and is illuminating about how war often tends to plunge regimes into crisis and revolution.

But its real heart and soul is the way Brecht exposes the awful truth about the privileged and powerful.

You are left with a real sense of Brecht’s subversive genius.

This latest production should be congratulated for courageously allowing this outstanding playwright’s devastating satirical wit and hard-hitting socialist politics to come shining through.

The Caucasian Chalk Circle
Written by Bertolt Brecht
Richmond Theatre until 24 October,
Nottingham Playhouse 1-21 November,
Unicorn Theatre, London, 24-29 November

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Article information

Tue 20 Oct 2009, 19:31 BST
Issue No. 2174
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