The NT Lyttelton played host last night (3 March 2009, previews from 24 February) to the premiere of Peter Flannery's stage adaptation of the 1994 Oscar-winning Russian film {Burnt by the Sun::L01346294945} (Utomlyonnye solntsem).

{Burnt by the Sun::L01346294945} centres on Colonel Kotov (Ciaran Hinds), decorated hero of the Russian Revolution, who’s spending an idyllic summer in the country with his beloved young wife and family. But one sunny morning in 1936, his wife’s former lover Mitia (Rory Kinnear) returns from a long and unexplained absence. Amidst a tangle of sexual jealousy, retribution and remorseless political backstabbing, Kotov feels the full, horrifying reach of Stalin’s rule.

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The cast also features Michelle Dockery, who recently won acclaim as Eliza Doolittle in Peter Hall's revival of Pygmalion, as Kotov's wife Maroussia. Burnt by the Sun is directed by Howard Davies and runs in rep until 21 May.

Writer Peter Flannery’s plays include Our Friends in the North (which he adapted into a nine-part TV series), Singer and Savage Amusement for the RSC. {Burnt by the Sun::L01346294945} is based on the original screenplay by Nikia Mikhalkov and Rustam Ibragimbekov. The screen version won the 1995 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. The play is designed by Vicki Mortimer, with lighting by Mark Henderson, music by Ilona Sekacz, choreography by Scarlett Mackmin and sound by Christopher Shutt.

- by Theo Bosanquet