`Dostoyevksy!   Hes good stuff.  He makes you think.  I do a lot of thinking . . . . but in London 2017  . . . thinking is out of fashion.`       

 John Cooper takes Dostoyevsky’s  `Underground Man` from nineteenth century St Petersburg and transposes him to contemporary London where he is faced with a society obsessed with commercialism and mass consumerism, a world  where  sexual gratification can be obtained with one call on a mobile phone and a credit card.

Based on the second part of the novella, A Story of Falling Sleet, the play depicts the tragedy of man who both craves and despises affection,  a man unable to express love or allow himself to be loved.

A cast of six  portray a wide variety of contemporary characters that inhabit the man’s underground  world  where sex is regarded as a negotiable commodity, and where the protagonist finds himself overwhelmed by a society that exploits rather than alleviates his  inner pain.

It is on Liza, an escort girl that the man takes revenge for his frustration and his humiliation. His sophisticated tirades are beyond her comprehension in intellectual terms, but it is her reality her truth and her emotional understanding, which the  `hollowness`, `artifice`  and `falsity` of his subterranean world where love can find no place.

CAST :    Robert Artlett ,  Anna Danshina, Matthew Duckett,   Giorgio Galassi, Callum John Hill, Olga  Starpovich,    

DIRECTION   Harry Meacher         SET DESIGN    Bryan Hands       COSTUME DESIGN   Andrew McRobb

The performance runs between  30  MAY    –  11 JUNE

Tues – Sat   7.30 pm

Sundays 4.00   pm

JOHN COOPER           Writer

 John Cooper’s plays  include Party Pieces, Mating Behaviour , Mistress and Muse, The Pleasure Principle, 21st Century Faust and The Education of a Lapdancer. ( Pleasance Theatre and UK Tour )He has adapted The Old Curiosity Shop ( UK tour )  Bleak House ( Pentameters)  Emma, Northanger Abbey, Daniel Deronda and Far from the Madding Crowd. ( Upstairs at the Gatehouse )  He devised the interactive TIE productions, Shakespeare Live!  and  History of Theatre Live! which have played to over 50,000 school students in the UK.  His latest play scheduled for production is Rendlesham  which is based    on the famous UFO sighting in 1980 in Rendlesham, Suffolk for which he received an  award from the Peggy Ramsay Foundation.

             TRAFFIC OF THE STAGE 

Formed  in 1986, the company  has produced over 60 plays at over 300 venues in the UK including The  Cherry Orchard, King Lear, Macbeth, Much Ado about Nothing, Hamlet, She Stoops to Conquer, The Old Curiosity Shop, Dracula, The Playboy of the Western World,  Sons and Lovers, Tartuffe, The Importance of Being Earnest, David Copperfield, The Warden, Hay Fever  and The Education of a Lap Dancer. The company is also well-known for its perennial, interactive TIE touring shows, Shakespeare Live!  and History of Theatre Live! which have played in over 300 secondary schools in the UK.