A New York Times Critic’s Pick!
“It is gorgeous. And it will make you ache to see live theatre.”
“The triumph is how handmade The Flying Lovers still feels, even glowing out at us from a screen.”
Join us in December for the digital tour of Daniel Jamieson’s The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk.
Perhaps you’ve seen them floating over a Russian village? Or perhaps you’ve seen her toppling forward, arms full of wild flowers, as he arches above her head and steals an airborne kiss. Partners in life and on canvas, Marc and Bella Chagall are immortalized as the picture of romance. But whilst on canvas they flew, in life they walked through some of the most devastating times in history.
Inspired by the work of Marc Chagall, the play is set against the backdrop of the Russian revolution and chronicles Chagall’s relationship with his wife, Bella. Emma Rice’s production is drawn in a theatrical language as fluid as Chagall’s paintings, and woven throughout with music and dance inspired by Russian Jewish tradition. It captures the vibrancy of Jewish culture in the vanishing world of early 20th century Europe.
Written by Daniel Jamieson
Directed by Emma Rice
Music by Ian Ross
Produced by Kneehigh/Wise Children/Bristol Old Vic and The Carol Tambor Theatrical Foundation
Broadcast from UK’s Bristol Old Vic Theatre
Featuring performances by Marc Antolin (Marc Chagall), Audrey Brisson (Bella Chagall), and a live band including James Gow and Ian Ross. Set and costume design is by Sophia Clist, lighting design is by Malcolm Rippeth, with choreography by Etta Murfitt and sound design by Simon Baker.
Co-produced by Kneehigh and Bristol Old Vic for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2017, The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk won the 2017 Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award. It was the last show Emma Rice made as Artistic Director of Kneehigh before setting up her own company, Wise Children, and went on to enjoy UK and international tours. These companies are now reuniting to collaborate and remount the award-winning show for both screen and stage, performed live from where it opened four years ago at the Bristol Old Vic, then streamed on demand to audiences around the globe. The actors and creative team will form a social bubble in Bristol ahead of their run, allowing them to mount the piece without social distancing.
Photos (c) Steve Tanner.