Listen at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09czx1d
‘Fathers and Sons’ by Brian Friel, after the novel by Ivan Turgenev. Fathers: Charles Dance, James Fleet. Sons: Edward Bennett, George Blagden.
In Turgenev’s prescient 1859 story of generational collision, both young heroes seem, at first, passionate revolutionaries, believing the old Russia should be swept away. But they’re unsure what they’d replace it with. This clash of values is dramatic, funny and recognisably up-to-date, with Julia McKenzie as a batty princess, Lisa Dillon a self-searching widow, Gabrielle Lloyd a loving mother and Martin Jarvis as odd-ball Uncle Pavel.
Turgenev’s darkly observant human comedy examines a particular period in Russian history which, in this epic production, foregrounds the eventual political struggle. And Friel, with benefit of hindsight, allows a glimpse of the future. Movingly, the play reminds us that it’s the eternal values of love, friendship, loyalty and devotion that will, ultimately – hopefully – survive.
Nikolai Kirsanov … James Fleet
Arkady … George Blagden
Vassily Bazarov … Charles Dance
Yevgeny … Edward Bennett
Princess Olga … Julia McKenzie
Anna Sergeevna … Lisa Dillon
Pavel … Martin Jarvis
Arina … Gabrielle Lloyd
Fenichka … Lucy Phelps
Dunyasha … Joanna Cassidy
Katya … Matilda Wickham
Piotr … Kieran Hodgeson
Fedka … Darren Richardson
Prokofyich and Timofeich … Nigel Anthony
Musicians: Michael Lan, Stavros Dritsas, Louis Baily,
Djordje Gajic, Richard Sisson
Music advisers: Lucy Parham, Richard Sisson
Sound design: Mark Holden
Produced and directed by Martin Jarvis and Rosalind Ayres
A Jarvis and Ayres Production for BBC Radio 3.