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La Tragedie de Carmen

 

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L'Histoire du Soldat

 

The Soldier's Tale

L'Histoire du Soldat

 

By Stravinsky and C. F. Ramuz

Translated by Jeremy Sams

 

Motion Group Production 2004

Old Vic Theatre

"With hardly a prop to be seen, we missed nothing at all, though we did have the ripe assistance of Jeremy Irons as a hungover narrator, tieless and barefoot in a dinner jacket, voicing Jeremy Sams's new, determinedly rhyming text (but pretty faithful to the Ramuz original, I think). It is jokey in itself, but Irons stretched it into comic elaborations with a rare degree of languid wit. I have not seen him so unbuttoned and inventive.  This thoroughly satisfying The Soldier's Tale was a model. All praise to Steggall, his actors and O'Neill's Philharmonia players." Financial Times

 

"When Jeremy Irons, as the Narrator, made his way on stage, took his seat at his writing desk and began to tell the story of the Soldier, Hugh Dancy, returning home from war, the orchestra, too, began to emerge from the wings. They came out, one by one, warming up their instruments while the Narrator warmed up his tale, finally grouping in the middle of the stage. The action then took place around and through the orchestra, with the conductor, double-bass-player and lead violinist all integral to the drama. In that way, the stagecraft of the director, Andrew Steggall, offered the chance to see those liminal spaces between creative drive and finished project...With its thoughtful staging, stunning music and top-notch cast, The Soldier's Tale could attract a full house every night for weeks on end. So it was a great shame that it had just the one stop in Britain.”  Independent

 

TST Jeremy and Hugh