REVIEW: Crime and Punishment – Citizens Theatre, Glasgow



The sheer audacity to even attempt a stage adaptation of Dostoyevsky’s literary classic Crime and Punishment is utterly reflective of the theatre within which it is receiving its world premier. At the core of The Citizens is an artistic vision which has never shied away from the difficult, never patronised its audience and season after season delivers innovation and originality to its patrons along with a healthy dose of theatrical madness.

This new adaptation by Chris Hannan eschews Dostoyevsky’s complex narrative and numerous sub-plots in favour of a clear central storyline, whilst still managing to give full weight to the big existential issues of the novel. The drama is also complimented by an atmospheric score by Macedonian composer Nikola Kodjabashia and a pared back design by Colin Richmond.

The ensemble are of the utmost quality, ably led by Adam Best. Best perfectly encapsulates Raskolnikov’s emotional turmoil as he descends into darkness and re-emerges into the light.

As with much of the work at The Citz, the piece manages to do what all great art should – to provoke debate. The moral and philosophical argument of whether it is ever justifiable to take a life for an ideological purpose is as far from being agreed upon and as hotly debated as it ever was.

Go along to question, to be inspired and challenged as well as entertained – yet another hit for The Citz.

Crime and Punishment runs at the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow until September 28, after which it will transfer to Liverpool Playhouse, October 1-19; and then to the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh from October 22 to November 9.

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Photo Credit – Tim Morozzo

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