Adapted from the novel by 19th century Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky, this stage play which centres on a man who imagines himself to be greater than the average man and above morality, should prove to be immersive viewing for audiences.
“To prove that he’s greater to himself he kills a woman and then, of course, he realises how ridiculous the whole notion is. He’s completely racked by guilt as he should be and then the story is about his road to redemption,” explained director Anthony Skuse.
“It’s the end of the 19th century, the age of revolution and people just got caught up in these revolutionary ideas and he’s swept up in the idea of the great man. This great man who can do whatever he likes. But as he gets caught up in it, he succumbs to a fever. He’s physically ill and his perception of the world has altered – kind of warped.”
In the novel, which would stand shoulder to shoulder with War And Peace, the character of Raskolnikov is described as being very handsome, dark-haired and well built. “I thought of turning the thing around a bit. I’ve made Dostoyevsky into a ghost story. Raskolnikov is disturbed and he’s haunted by the woman who he killed. Rather than presenting him as a Netflix hero I thought of presenting him as this man who is starving to death, whose life is falling apart and the actor James Smithers fits into that – well not personally,” laughed Skuse.
Described as an unrelenting ghost story with a cast of 10, Skuse thought of this as a great Christmas play. “It’s like going to see A Christmas Carol, haunted by a Christmas past. It’s suitable for people who liked the novel, people who like a yarn and hopefully everybody will enjoy it.” (MMo)
Dec 12–22. Limelight On Oxford, 231 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst. $34-$40+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.secrethouse.com.au