NABOKV-L post 0008889, Mon, 10 Nov 2003 10:13:28 -0800

Fw: The core of Vladimir Nabokov's novel is incisively distilled
... LOLITA plays New Zealand

----- Original Message -----
From: Sandy P. Klein
Sent: Sunday, November 09, 2003 7:05 PM
Subject: The core of Vladimir Nabokov's novel is incisively distilled ...

Monday November 10, 2003

To Russia With Love at the SiLo Theatre

10.11.2003 By FRANCIS TILL
The third of SiLo's annual Classic Adaptations initiative, Russia, is billed as a young director's "mentoring" project but succeeds as completely as anything done by any company in any venue this year.

The opener, Where Are You My Only One?, is utterly charming in the best possible sense of the word. Written and directed by Vanessa Rhodes, mentored by Anna Marbrook, Where Are You? presents fully realised characters in an elegantly drawn scenario of the heart.

David Aston continues his string of brilliant performances as Bob, a lonely, divorced, middle-aged farmer in the Waikato, forced by isolation to look afar for love. The internet introduces him to the lovely, captivatingly blunt Yulia (Nicola Murphy), a single mother in Russia with an illuminatingly pragmatic agenda wrapped around a deeply romantic spirit.

Yulia's carping, anxious mother, Ludmila (Kate Bartlett) is top among the many complications these would-be lovers must overcome. Working from a deeply aware text, the trio produces a poignant and layered exploration of the role courage plays in contemporary love, as well as a happy ending devoid of treacle.

The closer, Lolita, is a complete, unflinching stunner. The core of Vladimir Nabokov's novel is incisively distilled by director Colin Mitchell, mentored by John Verryt, and loses little in transfer to the stage. Jon Brazier puts a crafted and newly evocative face on Western civilisation's best-known paedophile, Humbert Humbert, and shows us convincingly both a nearly-exculpating source for his obsession and the peculiar innocence that accompanies it.

An effervescent performance by Anna Hutchison as Delores Haze, aka Lolita, profoundly charged with a precociously ebullient, unrepentant sexuality, yields a character both disturbing and hypnotically captivating.

Mitchell's welcome decision to play Lolita as a creature of surface and action lets the psychological focus of the work remain on Humbert and means the Lolita we get is the nymphet he sees, which is what is required by the brevity of the piece.

Monday November 10, 2003

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