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      Crime and Punishment

      Crime and Punishment
      Crime and Punishment, the classic 19th century Russian novel by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, is coming to the Liverpool Playhouse this October in conjunction with Citizens Theatre and Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh. Sarah O’ Hara speaks to actor Adam Best (Holby City, The Woman in Black) about playing the lead in this classic moral fable...

      YOU PLAY THE PROTAGONIST RASKOLNIKOV IN THE PRODUCTION OF CRIME AND PUNISHMENT. COULD YOU TELL US A BIT MORE ABOUT HIM AND WHAT HIS ROLE IS IN THE STORY?
      The play centres around the decision he makes about committing murder, and the story follows him as he comes to terms with what he has done. The story delves into how society and his family make him feel, and the social reaction to what he has done. He’s a young man of 23, a student who is trying to find out who he is. He’s a character that people can identify with because everybody goes through that phase of trying to figure out their own identity, be that by getting a tattoo or listening to certain types of music. His way of trying to create an identity however was a bit more extreme and a bit of a mad action.

      HOW HAVE YOU PREPARED FOR THE ROLE? THE STORY DEALS WITH A LOT OF DARK THEMES IN ADDITION TO GUILT AND REDEMPTION...
      I studied the novel and kept a pen and notepad by me to make notes about the character. We had 5 weeks of rehearsals as a cast with Dominic Hill [Director] and Chris Hannan. It was a very collaborative process in discovering what Raskolnikov is all about and you get so much from the script. It’s a brilliant script and you want to tell the story as truthfully as you can.

      WILL THE PRODUCTION STICK CLOSELY TO THE NOVEL OR IS THIS PRODUCTION A NEW TWIST ON THE STORY?
      The novel itself is about 1000 pages long so obviously you can’t tell all of it in a 2 and 1⁄2 hour production. Chris Hannan’s adaptation has picked out the key themes of the novel and explored them so we remain as true as we can to the original story. Obviously to condense the story certain cuts had to be made but all of the characters are still there.

      DOMINIC HILL HAS BROUGHT HIS OWN INFLUENCES OF WORKING IN A RUSSIAN THEATRE TO THIS PRODUCTION - HOW HAS THIS AFFECTED THE STYLE OF THE PLAY?
      Without giving too much away, he worked with a Russian Theatre company and brought these influences aesthetically to this production. All of the actors will be onstage constantly and it’s a very stripped-back performance. We create a suggestion of Russia in that time instead of literally showing it. At one point the characters talk about Lucien who is the fiance of Raskolnikov’s sister, and you see the actor at the back of the stage putting on his costume to become Lucien. It’s about telling the story as clearly as possible whilst everyone is onstage.

      WERE THERE ANY CHALLENGES IN PUTTING ON THE PLAY?
      It’s such a classic novel that is loved by so many people - you want to get it right. The story is so vast but in the end, we’re not pretending to be anything but actors telling this amazing story.

      Crime and Punishment is at the Liverpool Playhouse from Tuesday 1st - Saturday 19th October. Tickets cost between £12 and £23 and can be purchased from the theatre box office (0151 709 4776) or www.everymanplayhouse.com


      Photos by Tim Morozzo
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