★★★★
“Deeply personal and deeply felt… A whirl of colour and surreal humour.” — The Guardian

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.

ON DEMAND DECEMBER 11-18

TICKETS

The show will be available beginning 7:30pm on Friday, December 11. A ticket allows you to “rent” the show for 3 days—the three days start from the moment you first click “play” to watch. Tickets can be bought any time until 11:30pm on Friday December 18.

Tickets cost £16 (approximately $21 US). You will be sent to our partner’s website, wisechildren.ticketco.events, to make your purchase. Closed-captioned and audio description versions will be available; you will need to select the version you wish to view when placing your order.

Kneehigh The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk c Steve Tanner Marc Antolin as Marc Chagall
Kneehigh The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk 11 c Steve Tanner Marc Antolin as Marc Chagall Audrey Brisson as Bella Chagall
Kneehigh The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk c Steve Tanner Audrey Brisson as Bella Chagall
Kneehigh The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk 10 c Steve Tanner Marc Antolin as Marc Chagall Audrey Brisson as Bella Chagall
Kneehigh The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk 9 c Steve Tanner Marc Antolin as Marc Chagall Audrey Brisson as Bella Chagall
Kneehigh The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk 5 c Steve Tanner Marc Antolin as Marc Chagall Audrey Brisson as Bella Chagall
Kneehigh The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk 4 c Steve Tanner Audrey Brisson as Bella Chagall
Kneehigh The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk 4 c Steve Tanner Marc Antolin as Marc Chagall Audrey Brisson as Bella Chagall
Kneehigh The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk 2 c Steve Tanner Marc Antolin as Marc Chagall

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Daniel Jamieson (playwright) has worked for Exeter-based Theatre Alibi as an actor, joint artistic director (1995-2000) and writer. His writing credits for the company include FallingHammer and TongsGoucher’s WarCobboCaughtOne in a MillionThe FreezeShelf LifeLittle White LiesThe SwellSea of Faces and Birthday, as well as adapting novels by Charles Dickens, Graham Greene, Michael Morpurgo and Dick King-Smith for the stage. Other theatre credits include A Box of PhotographsWe’re Going on a Bear Hunt (Polka Theatre), Where’s the BearWish WashKnitwits and Flathampton (Royal & Derngate).

Emma Rice (director) is the proud and excited Artistic Director of her new company, Wise Children. She adapted and directed Angela Carter’s Wise Children (The Old Vic/UK tour), Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers (Bristol Passenger Shed/UK tour) and Romantics Anonymous (Bristol Old Vic/Digital tour). For the ENO she directed Orpheus in the Underworld. As Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe (2016/18), she directed Romantics AnonymousTwelfth NightA Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Little Matchgirl (and Other Happier Tales). For the previous 20 years, she worked for Kneehigh as an actor, director and Artistic Director. Her productions included The Flying Lovers of VitebskTristan & Yseult946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus TipsThe Wild Bride and The Red Shoes. She was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre at the 2019 UK Theatre Awards.