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.

 

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