North West Theatre

Stalin's Favourite

Adapted from Orlando Figes’s book The Whisperers
Theatre Unlimited
27 Jan 12
The Lowry

In 1941, the huge popularity of his poem, Wait For Me, projected Konstantin Simonov into the literary stratosphere of the Soviet Union. But what is the cost of becoming Stalin’s favourite writer? Years later, Simonov looks back on a lifetime as part of Stalin’s Soviet elite and confronts his demons.

Nothing listed

...sits quite comfortably somewhere between a play and a history lecture... compellingly universal and plausible. It is this strong through-line that makes this 70 minute piece not only historically informative but also emotionally engaging... Rupert Wickham... does a great job at bringing this complex character to life... shoe-horned in some odd lighting states to emphasise crucially unpleasant memories... The use of music is more successful... Michael Folkard’s minimalist set... is beautifully symbolic...
The Public Reviews (Rating: 3/5)
...shows the strengthens and weaknesses of this educational approach... a wealth of fascinating detail... But the educational aspect is at the expense of the drama... The biographical details of Simonov’s life are, again, very well communicated... Director Peter Symonds does his best to make this more than just a play for schools using Michael Folkard’s set to give the sense of someone trapped in his memories. But some of his decisions are questionable...
What's On Stage (Rating: 3/5)