Year: 1980

Title of the play: The Suicide

Author: Nikolai Erdman

Director: Ron Daniels

Others in the Cast: Denyse Alexander, Frank Brennan, Shevaun Briars, Heather Canning, Daniel Chasin, Peter Clough, Noel Doyle, Ian Flintoff, Colum Gallivan, Nicholas Gecks,  Andrew Hawkins, Roderick Horn, Neville Jason, Lila Kaye, Teddy Kempner, Timothy Kightley, Shirley King, Ian McNeice, Juliette Mole, Clyde Pollitt, Roger Rees, Emily Richard, Susan Tracy, Ian Wallace, Kevin Wallace,

Company/Event: Royal Shakespeare Company

Theatre and location: Gulbenkian Studio, Newcastle-upon-Tyne & Warehouse, London

Other productions of the same play:  1981: Aldwych Theatre, London

Plot summary: The play's central character, Semyon Podsekalnikov, is unemployed and dependent on his wife Masha's meagre wage. Unable to get the necessary work permit from the state, Semyon, having lost all self esteem and in constant conflict with his wife and mother-in-law, decides he will kill himself. At this point an apparently personal tragedy is seized upon by assorted elements in Russian society as the opportunity to create an 'ideological corpse', a protest against the powers that be. Semyon's ensuing death is to represent, variously, the anguish of the intelligentsia or of the artists, the interests of business, the cry for freedom of repressed romanticism or of free love. Semyon, crushed by his sense of powerlessness and insignificance, never realised that he had such influence. Socialist Review

Peth’s role: Aristarch Dominikovich Golashchapov


Production details:

1981, Aldwych Theatre

1980, Gulbenkian Studio, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

1980, Warehouse, London

Related links:

Gallery: Some pics of the production here (bottom of the page)

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