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A Soldier's Tale returns to the Old Vic


Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

IT HAS now been confirmed that the unique British/Iraqi collaboration, The Soldier's Tale will run from January 26 to February 4, 2006 at London's Old Vic Theatre.

Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat (The Soldier's Tale) is presented in a remarkable new translation by Abdulkareem Kasid and Rebecca Lenkiewicz in both English and Arabic, the language and styles conveying different but equally compelling voices.

The new narrative will honour the original, but through conversations with the artists, friends and colleagues in Iraq, hopes to uncover new stories from those involved.

Director Andrew Steggall made several trips to Iraq - to Baghdad and Kurdistan - before casting three talented Iraqi actors - Alaa Rasheed, Falah Fayeh and Dhiaa Ouda.

They will be joined by veteran British actor Julian Glover, along with Martin Marquez and Ciaran McMenamin.

With Stravinsky's consent, new Iraqi and Arabic music by Oud player and composer Ahmed Mukhtar will be integrated into the piece, with Iraqi players Shakir Hassan Zamil and Sattar Al Saadi joining the western ensemble.

Tickets: £25 to £7.50

For further information call the Box Office on 0870 145 1163

Previously Posted: Although neither casting nor venue have yet been confirmed, The Soldier's Tale will run for a minimum of 12 performances in London's West End, in January 2006.

 

 

The production, devised in Iraq with a company of British and Iraqi actors and musicians, will premiere in Baghdad this autumn prior to its West End opening. It will also be seen in Paris, Berlin and New York.

The production will be presented by The Motion Group in association with the National Theatre of Iraq. The Motion Group's Andrew Steggall will direct.

Previously Posted: On Sunday, November 21, 2004, British actor, Jeremy Irons will make a rare stage appearance in Stravinsky's 1918 music theatre piece, The Soldier's Tale, at London's Old Vic theatre.

Translated from L'Histoire du Soldat, by Jeremy Sams, A Soldier's Tale is the Faustian story of a young soldier who sells his soul to the Devil in return for infinite wealth.

Perhaps then, it's no coincidence that it was in a Switzerland surrounded by the ravages of the First World War, that Stravinsky, alongside writer Ramuz, created what was then, an innovative work.

Irons will play the Narrator, in this, his first stage role for many years. It was back in 1984 that he won the Tony Best Actor Award for his part in the Broadway production of The Real Thing, opposite Glenn Close.

Nowadays, he's best remembered for his screen appearances, not least for TV's Brideshead Revisited; while films include The French Lieutenant's Woman, Dead Ringers, Reversal of Fortune, Die Hard III and The Man in the Iron Mask.

Opposite Irons, and in the title role, will be Eddie Redmayne, who is currently appearing in Hecuba, at the Donmar Warehouse.

The actors will be accompanied by soloists of the Philharmonia, conducted by Robin O'Neill.

A Soldier's Tale will be presented at the Old Vic theatre by The Motion Group who, next year, aim to take this same production to Baghdad, using a new Arabic/English translation, before returning it to London.

A companion piece, entitled The Civilian's Tale, is also in the pipe-line.

 

 

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