The Caucasian Chalk Circle

CHRISTOPHER SMITH Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich

CHRISTOPHER SMITH

Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich

Though the opening is a bit too much like a meeting of Digby Parish Council, minus the vicar, John Daines' production of Brecht's famous play on the crucial theme of property rights soon gets into its stride.

The scene showing the clash of human traits and Soviet ideals gives way to a play within a play that sees the problem in stylised theatrical terms.

Fifteen actors hop from role to role. Drably dressed as realistic peasants, they are next laundered in extravagant costumes as fairy- tale aristocrats. Masks show their attitudes are fixed; that spells trouble because the revolution is boiling up.

Jo Sessions is Grusha, winsome, frail and pale but unconquerable. John Hare is a sympathetic, softly- spoken commentator and down-to- earth judge.