Review: Opus No 7

NNF 2014 - Opus No 7

NNF 2014 - Opus No 7 - Credit: Natalie Cheban

Hot tipped to be the hit of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, this spectacular show from Russia attracted a large, expectant audience. UEA Sportspark quickly lost its familiarity as we wound our way down many passages to the ad hoc auditorium. Hidden in the depths of the complex, it felt as if we had found our way into the secret venue of a censored performance, perhaps in a communist state of the past.

If it was politics you were after, director Dmitry Krymov's show did not disappoint. Part one was about the plight of the Jews under communism, and after the interval it was the trials and tribulations of a musician suffering at the hands of a repressive regime, as the life of composer Shostakovich took centre stage.

The narrative mostly unfolded in dream-like images, and with persecution of the visionary - religious or artistic - a common theme, that seemed just right.

My own favourite moment was the entry of mother Russia: a giant, grotesque puppet with child Shostakovich hiding in her skirts.

And is it the hit of the Festival? Well, there's more to come...we'll just have to wait and see.

Eve Stebbing

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