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Stars in the Morning Sky (Coventry)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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Stars in the Morning Sky is a new adaptation by Coventry local, Chris Hannan, of Alexander Galin's play demonstrating the somewhat inhumane clean up operation of Moscow prior to the 1980 Summer Olympic Games. Galin's play has high significance with current events in London which, although not to such an extreme extent, is undergoing a makeover of its own.

Directed by the Belgrade's Artistic Director, Hamish Glen, the production illustrates the varied backgrounds and stories of seven people caught up in the Communist regime which saw all prostitutes and 'undesirables' being forced out of the city in time for the Olympic torch's arrival.

Performed in thrust, Libby Watson's set design works perfectly within the venue's intimate B2 stage; the unkempt barn (formerly asylum) setting is simplistic yet very effective. Glen's direction ensures that the space is used to it's full potential with a particularly poignant moment at the show's climax, when for one moment there is a sense of harmonious unity.

The script is incredibly witty and well executed by a fantastic ensemble cast - notably Jessica Regan as troubled Anna. The text is cleverly able to shed a beacon of light over the dark underlying theme of the piece. I did however leave the theatre with many an unanswered question. The journey that the characters embark on is fully understood but I don't necessarily feel that the production took me, as an audience member, on a journey. Also slightly baffling is the use of Irish accents for Russian prostitutes (and the whole cast in fact!) Endearing as the accents were, I would be interested in the justification!

Jenny Antill - @jenny_antill


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