A Month in the Country
Translated by Isaiah Berlin
Olivier Theatre, 19 February 1981
A Month in the Country was written in Paris between 1848 and
1850. The play was originally to have been called The Student but
this had connotations that were too openly revolutionary. Turgenev then changed
the title to Two Women before finally settling on the present version.
The play was thought to be an attack on marriage and immediately ran into
problems with the Russian censor. It was not allowed to be printed until 1855
and only then in a mutilated version which made Natalya Petrovna a widow. The
original text was not published until 1869 and the play had to wait until 1872
for its first performance.
It is possible that had it not been for the strict theatrical censorship
Turgenev's career might have taken an entirely different course and he would
have come down to posterity as a playwright rather than as a novelist.
The first successful production of A Month in the Country took
place at the Alexandrinsky Theatre in 1879, when Mariya Savina took the part of
Vera for her benefit performance. The play was revived several times in
Turgenev's lifetime and was playing in Petersburg on the day of his funeral.
Stanislavsky directed it for the Moscow Art Theatre in 1909 with Chekhov's widow
Olga Knipper as Natalya Petrovna, and since then it has taken its place as part
of the international repertoire. The role of Natalya Petrovna has been played by
actresses as diverse as Ludmilla Pitoeff, Peggy Ashcroft, Uta Hagen, Delphine
Seyrig, and Margaret Leighton.
The first performance in England was given by the Stage Society on 5 July
1926 at the Royalty Theatre, Dean Street, Soho. The same production, which had
Gillian Scaife as Natalya Petrovna, was revived later in the same year at the
Fortune Theatre. The play was next seen in London in 1936, again with Gillian
Scaife, but the production which was to make its reputation here was in 1943
with Valerie Taylor and Michael Redgrave in an adaptation by Emlyn Williams
which had a successful run at the St James's Theatre.
A Month in the Country has been seen in London three times since
the war — at the New Theatre with Angela Baddeley in 1949, at the Cambridge
Theatre with Ingrid Bergman in 1965, and at the New Theatre (renamed the Albery)
with Dorothy Tutin in 1974. The play has also been broadcast several times —
on the radio with Peggy Ashcroft, and on television with Margaret Leighton and
Michael Gough in 1955 (Rediffusion), and with Vivien Merchant and Derek Godfrey
in 1966 (BBC).
The action takes place on Islayev's estate in the country
Length: about 3 hours 20 minutes including one 15 minute interval
|Adam Ivanovich Schaaf
Theatre includes repertory at Traverse Edinburgh, Liverpool,
Manchester, Dublin, and tour of Asia with Bristol Old Vic. In London:
Wakefield Mystery Plays, The Possessed (Mermaid), The Seagull, The Bed
Before Yesterday (Lyric), Maggie (Shaftesbury), The Square (New End), Why
Bournemouth (King's Head), The Irish Hebrew Lesson (Almost Free). At the
Royal Court: Anarchists, Uve Like Pigs, Skyvers, Crete and Sergeant
Pepper, The Old Ones, Magnificence. Eclipse, Happy Days. RSC: London
Assurance, Major Barbara, Twelfth Night. TV includes: plays by C P Taylor,
Philip Purser, Don Haworth, Z Cars, A Legacy, A Hole in Babylon, Maria
Marten. Films: Brown Ale with Gertie, Happy Days. Frequent radio work
including membership of the Radio Drama Company.
|Anna Semyonovna Islayeva
Theatre: The Anatomist (Westminster Theatre), Ibsen Season (Criterion),
season at Stratford-uponAvon, Watch on the Rhine (Aldwych), work with the
Old Vic Theatre Company at the New, Valmouth (Lyric Hammersmith), Tartuffe
(Greenwich), Winter Dancers (Royal Court), Vieux Carre (Piccadilly),
Autumn Garden (Watford Palace), Television: Coronation Street, Crown
Court, The History of Mr Polly, Last of the Summer Wine, House of Bernarda
Alba, Jackanory, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Fair Stood the Wind for
France, We The Accused, Radio: frequent broadcasts of drama and talks for
Theatre includes: Passion Flower Hotel in the West End; Hamlet with
Nicol Williamson in New York (New York Critics' Award for Most Promising
Actress). For the RSC: Measure for Measure, Troilus and Cressida, The
Comedy of Errors, Romeo and Juliet. TV includes: Girls in Uniform, The
Wood Demon, The Couch, The Way of the World, Edward VII, A Pin to See the
Peepshow, Madame Bovary, Lillie, Why Didn't They Ask Evans. Films include
Hamlet, Polanski's Macbeth, Big Mack and Poor Clare, Penny Gold,
|Mikhailo Alexandrovich Rakitin
Nigel Terry (Mikhailo Alexandrovich Rakitin) Theatre includes repertory
at Oxford Meadow Players, Bristol Old Vic, Theatre 69 Manchester, Crucible
Sheffield, Welsh Drama Company. London: The Long and the Short and the
Tall, Romeo and Juliet (Shaw Theatre), Big Wolf, The Fool (Royal Court),
Kingdom Coming (Roundhouse), Rooted (Hampstead), Rashomon (Stratford
East), A Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, Traps (Joint Stock at Royal
Court). RSC: 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, Henry VI Part 3, Queen Christina,
Sons of Light, The Women Pirates, Shout Across the River, Look Out …
Here Comes Trouble, The Hang of the Gaol, Pericles, The Suicide, Julius
Caesar, Baal. TV includes: Kenilworth, The Man Who Understood Women,
Remote Control, Boy Meets Girl, Sherlock Holmes, The Marquise, South Bank
Show on Edward Bond. Films: The Lion in Winter, Transfusion, A Cast of
Theatre includes; repertory at Birmingham. At the Royal Court:
Miniatures, Three Men For Colverton, Macbeth, Life Price, One at Night,
The Farm. Riverside Studios: Scrape Off The Black, Black Man's Burden. NT;
Equus. TV includes: The Witches of Pendle, Headmaster, People Uke Us,
Thomas and Sarah, Three Days in Sczecyn, Three Men in a Boat, The Duchess
of Duke Street, Crown Court, Coronation Street, Brideshead Revisited, The
Best of British (on Peter Gill). Films: If, The Final Programme, Morgan A
Suitable Case for Treatment, The French Lieutenant's Woman, O Lucky Man.
Has appeared in various commercials. and as Peter Pan in The Man Who
Didn't Like Children (Thames TV)
Is making his first professional appearance.
Theatre: work in London includes appearing in thirty plays at the
Mermaid, and directing eighteen others. For the NT work includes: Othello,
Much Ado About Nothing, Royal Hunt of the Sun, Uncle Vanya. At the RSC:
Twelfth Night. Work in the West End includes: Lock Up Your Daughters,
Blitz. TV includes: Secret Army, The Dick Emery Show, Sweeney, Backs to
the Land, The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, Secret Army. Films
include: Young Winston, Land That Time Forgot, Oh What A Lovely War,
Julius Caesar, Poor Cow, Aces High.
|Ignaty Ilyich Shpigelsky
Theatre includes: Crime Passionel, September Tide, Colombe, The Wild
Duck, The Creditors, Fanny, Ghosts, Events in a Room Upstairs, and most
recently, Before the Party. NT: Phaedra Britannica, Watch It Come Down,
Tamburlaine The Great, Il Campiello, Counting the Ways, The Passion,
Bedroom Farce (also in New York), Love Letters on Blue Paper. TV includes:
In Search of the Nile, The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes, Stalin, Shoulder to
Shoulder, Vincent the Dutchman, The Microbe Hunters, Fall of Eagles,
Georges Sand, Shades of Greene, Suez, Brideshead Revisited. Films include:
Anna Karenina, The Man in the White Suit, The Sword and the Rose, The
Horse's Mouth, Mr Topaze, Henry VIII, The Go-Between, The Boys from
Brazil, Justices, Venom.
Theatre includes: repertory at Bristol Old Vic, Churchill Theatre
Bromley, Nottingham Playhouse, In London: The Cherry Orchard (Riverside
Studios), A Portrait of Dora (Theatre at New End), Television: Anna
Karenina, Just William, Emily, Queen Victoria's Scandals, Invitations,
Wuthering Heights, Seconds Out, Tales of the Unexpected, The Flipside of
Dominick Hyde, Films: Holocaust 2000, Someone is Killing the Great Chefs
of Europe, Eagle's Wing, Les Miserables. Death Watch, Possessions, Hammer
House of Horror,
|Arkadi Sergeyevich Islayev
Theatre includes repertory at Ipswich, Canterbury, Liverpool, Windsor.
Leatherhead, Royal Exchange Manchester. London: Rafferty's Chant
(Mermaid), Forty Years On (Apollo). My Little Boy, My Big Girl (Fortune),
Gone With the Wind (Drury Lane), Very Good Eddie (Piccadilly), His Monkey
Wife (Hampstead), An Ideal Husband (Greenwich). Film: If. TV includes:
Upstairs Downstairs, The Sweeney, Minder. The Professionals, Fallen Hero.
Anna Karenina, Hamlet, Sense and Sensibility.
|Aleksei Nikolayevich Belyaev
Theatre includes: repertory at Durham, Flying Blind (Royal Court),
Midsummer Night's Dream (Scottish Opera). TV includes; Soldiers Talking
Cleanly, The Camerons, Shadows on Our Skin, Rain on the Roof, Barriers,
Mackenzie, The Professionals, The Quiet Days of Mrs Stafford, Films;
Torquay Summer, All Quiet on the Western Front.
||Holly de Jong
Theatre: includes repertory at Newcastle, Lincoln, Leatherhead, In
London: Godspell (Wyndhams); work with fringe groups: Low Moan
Spectacular, Pirate Jenny, Albany Empire, Mayday. TV: The Duchess of Duke
Street, Love for Lydia, Send in the Girls, Matilda's England, The Racing
Came, Penmarric, The Assassination Run, Barriers.
|Afanasi Ivanovich Bolshintsov
Theatre includes repertory at Leicester, Salisbury, Bristol, and
Birmingham, where he played King Lear and The Master Builder. London:
Mother's Day (Royal Court), The Changeling (Riverside). With the NT from
1965 to 1973, including; The Royal Hunt of the Sun, Trelawney of the
Wells, Much Ado About Nothing, A Flea in Her Ear, Volpone, The Way of the
World, As You Like It, The Beaux' Stratagem, The National Health, The
Idiot, Jumpers, Richard II, The School for Scandal, The Front Page,
Macbeth, Twelfth Night. TV includes The Knowledge, 'Tis Pity She's a
Whore, Love for Lydia, Enemy at the Door, Bless Me Father, Dreams of
Leaving. Film: The Elephant Man.
Theatre includes repertory at Lincoln Theatre Royal, Citizens Theatre
Glasgow. London: Laughter, The Bukharin Play (Royal Court), Julius Caesar
(Riverside). TV: As You Like It, The Borgias. Film: Flash Gordon.
Theatre includes repertory at Royal Exchange Manchester, Contact
Theatre, Molecule Club tour. In London: The Middleman, and Dirty Work at
the Crossroads (Orange Tree, Richmond).
||Clare Byam Shaw
Theatre: Trained at LAMDA. Repertory at Exeter, Worcester, Canterbury,
Watford. TV: Unity, The Wilderness Years.
Theatre includes repertory at Watermill Theatre, Newbury, Chesterfield
Civic, Nottingham Playhouse. In London: Mother's Day, Skoolplay, The
London Cuckolds (Royal Court); An Ideal Husband, Don Juan (Greenwich); As
You Like It, Plays Umbrella: Scrape Off The Black, Black Man's Burden
(Riverside). TV: Upstairs Downstairs, The Duchess of Duke Street, Malice
Aforethought, Grange Hill, The Best of British: Peter Gill, Omnibus on
Landseer. Films: One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing, Full Circle, Sir Henry
at Rawlinson End.
Theatre includes seasons at Bristol Old Vic, Nottingham, Oxford,
Theatre Workshop Stratford East. The Lion in Love, Sleepers' Den (Royal
Court); One is One (Riverside). NT: Strife. TV includes: The Caretaker,
Holocaust, Tales of the Unexpected, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists.
Films: Hanover Street, The Awakening, Eye of the Needle, Superman, The
Shout, Der Schwur des Soldaten Pooley.
Theatre: tours of The Beggar's Opera (Bubble Theatre), Jubilee Thro
(Paine's Plough). London: Seven Girls (Open Space), Walking, Carnival War
A Go Hot (Royal Court), Traitors (Hampstead). TV: Angels, Family Affair,
Daughters of Albion. Film: Birth of the Beatles.
Theatre includes: repertory at Bristol Old Vic, Nottingham Playhouse;
toured with 7:84 Company in Occupations and Apricots, In London: long
association with the Royal Court, including Edward Bond season, At the May
Fair Theatre: Flashpoint, Riverside: Julius Caesar, Mother Country, NT:
The Romans in Britain, TV includes: Blue Skies from Now On, The Naked
Civil Servant, Billy. Films: The Land that Time Forgot, The Mouse and the
Theatre includes repertory at Citizens Theatre Glasgow, Crucible
Sheffield, Nottingham Playhouse. In London: One is One (Riverside), Forget
Me Not (Greenwich), Vieux Carre (Piccadilly), Amabel (Bush), pon Juan
(Roundhouse). TV: Able's Will, Moss, Where the Heart Is, The Sweeney, The
Professionals. Films: Le Lieutenant Karl, Hanover Street, The Wall.
Recently directed Desperado Corner for Glasgow Citizens.
Theatre includes repertory at Windsor, Leeds Playhouse (Wedding Feast),
Churchill Theatre Bromley (The Case of the Frightened Lady). In London:
Parents Day (Globe), Loot, The Fool (Royal Court), The Changeling
(Riverside). TV includes: David Copperfield, Chips With Everything, The
Norman Conquests, Our Mutual Friend, Wings, Crime and Punishment, Frank
Muir on Children, Man of Destiny.
Work at the Royal Court, where he was Associate Director from 1970 to
72, includes A Collier's Friday Night, The Local Stigmatic, The Ruffian on
the Stair, A Provincial Life (which he also adapted), A Soldier's Fqrtune,
The Daughter-in-Law,The Widowing of Mrs Holroyd,Life Price, The Duchess of
Malfi, Crete and Sergeant Pepper, The Merry-Go-Round (which he also
adapted), and his own plays Over Gardens Out, The Sleepers' Den, and Small
Change, For the RSC: Twelfth Night. At Riverside Studios, where he was
director from 1976 to 1980, directed As You Like It, Small Change, The
Cherry Orchard, The Changeling, Measure for Measure, Julius Caesar, Scrape
Off The Black. Work abroad includes: Much Ado About Nothing, Hedda
Gablet,and Macbeth at Stratford Ontario, Landscape and Silence at Lincoln
Centre, New York.
Trained at St Martin's School of Art, Central School of Art, Work
includes: designing over 40 plays at Victoria Theatre Stoke on Trent. In
London: Ken Campbell's Old King Cole (Stratford East), Mike Leigh's
Ecstasy, and Uncle Vanya (Hampstead), Measure for Measure. Julius Caesar,
and the Plays Umbrella Season for Peter Gill at the Riverside Studios.
Member of the British theatre designers who won 1st prize at the 1979
Prague Quadriennale Exhibition.
Work at Nottingham Playhouse, for Joint Stock, and at the Edinburgh
Festival, In London: Krapp's Last Tape, Not I, The Merry-Go-Round, Sense
of Detachment (Royal Court); in the West End: Sizwe Bansi is Dead, The
Island, Entertaining Mr Sloane, Lenny, City Sugar, Comedians, Teeth 'n'
Smiles, The Rocky Horror Show, For the RSC: Twelfth Night, Cousin
Vladimir, At the Riverside: The Cherry Orchard, The Changeling, Measure
for Measure, NT: Weapons of Happiness, The Madras House, Plenty, The
Crucible, Has worked also in Norway, Japan, Germany, Yugoslavia, Denmark,
and Australia; as well as for the Welsh National Opera and English
Theatre music includes Twelfth Night (RSC), As You Like It, The Cherry
Orchard, The Changeling, Measure for Measure, Julius Caesar (all for Peter
Gill at the Riverside), A Fair Quarrel (NT), Duchess of Malfi (Royal
Exchange Manchester). TV includes: Hitting Town. Last Summer, Out. Six
Plays by Alan Bennett. Fox, Shoestring, The History Man, Rain on the Roof,
Bloody Kids; Going Gently, Camero. Films include: Private Road, Waterloo
Bridge Handicap, Hussy. Dead End; Currently working on Parole.
|Assistant to the Director
||Michael Cass Jones
|Deputy Stage Manager
|Assistant Stage Managers
|Assistant to the Lighting Designer
|Assistant Production Manager
|Prodution photographed by
Born 1909 in Riga. USSR. First President of Wolfson College, Oxford,
1966 to 1975; Fellow of All Souls; Fellow of New College from 1938 to
1950; Professor of Social and Political Theory at Oxford from 1957 to
1967. Served as President of the British Academy from1974 to 1978.
Honorary Fellow of American Academy of Arts and Letters. Holds honorary
degrees from Universities of Brandeis, Cambridge, Columbia, East Anglia,
Glasgow, Hull, Liverpool, London, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv. Publications
include: Karl Marx. translation of First Love by Turgenev. The Age of
Enlightenment. Four Essays of Liberty. Vico and Herder. Concepts and
Categories, Against the Current, Russian Thinkers. Personal Impressions.
||Books quoted and consulted: The Gentle Barbarian by V S
Pritchett (Chatto & Windus, 1977); The Turgenev Family by
Mme V Zhitova. trans A S Mills (Harvill, 1948); Turgenev and England
by Patrick Waddington (Macmillan, 1980).
Grateful thanks to John Burgess for writing and research.
Scenery and props constructed in NT workshops Louvred ceiling by P E
Kemp Engineers Ltd Costumes and wigs by NT workshops Hats by Sally Long
Shoes by Anello & Davide, and Gamba Miss Annis' shoes by T Savva Props
and wardrobe care by Lever Brothers.
Opening night fireworks donated by Festival Fireworks of London.
Cigarettes used in prodution suppiled by Gallahers.
|Programme designed by
Richard Bird and Michael Mayhew.
|Programme printed by
Battley Brothers Printers, Clapham, London SW4 0JN