Hall's Mother Courage Arrives in West EndDate: 20 March 2000
Shared Experience's production of Bertolt Brecht's 1941 anti-war tale Mother Courage and Her Children, in a new translation by young playwright of the moment Lee Hall, arrives in the West End next month following a regional tour. The production, which stars Kathryn Hunter and Hayley Carmichael, opens at the New Ambassadors on 26 April, previews from 15 April, and continues until 20 May 2000.
Mother Courage relentlessly drags her children across the battlefields of Europe, determined that she is able to protect them from the bloodshed that surrounds her whilst continuing to profit from the carnage of war. In a world that hovers between war and peace, events finally overtake Mother Courage, robbing her of the children she holds dear.
Mother Courage is the second Brecht adaptation by Hall. Shared Experience commissioned him to translate it after the success two years ago of his highly acclaimed, iconoclastic adaptation of Mr Puntila and His Man Matti, co-produced by the Almeida Theatre and the Right Size. Mother Courage is also the fourth Hall production to hit London this year. It follows the stage version of his radio play about an autistic child, Spoonface Steinberg, his adaptation of Goldoni's A Servant of Two Masters and his original stage play, Cooking with Elvis, starring comedian Frank Skinner which has just opened at the Whitehall.
Both Hunter, who plays the title role, and Carmicheal, who plays daughter Kattrin, are old Hall hands. Hunter starred in Spoonface Steinberg and directed Mr Puntila, which featured Carmicheal. Hunter's other acting credits include Scenes from an Execution and The Visit, for which she won the 1991 Laurence Olivier award for Best Actress.
They are joined in the cast by Nicholas R Bailey, David Fielder, Francis Lee, Marcello Magni, Clive Mendus, Phuong Nguyen, Rachel Sanders, Simon Walter and Maurice Yeoman.
Mother Courage, a co-production with Guildford's Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, is directed by Nancy Meckler, artistic director of Shared Experience, with new songs and music by Dominic Muldowney. The production is designed by Angela Davies with lighting by Tina MacHugh and company movement by Liz Ranken.