From this Wednesday the Copenhagen Theatre Circle is performing 'The Good Doctor' by Neil Simon. The play is a light-hearted collection of stories that demonstrates both ridiculous and sentimental elements of human nature. For this reviewer, the play combined dialogues, monologues and musical numbers to create a highly entertaining night out.
Based on the works of Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) it is a world away from the heaviness most people think of when they imagine Russian literature. It passes over a soldier who reduces himself to tears after sneezing on a general (who doesn't notice him at all), a local priest forced to fight off an over-eager doctor's assistant, and two old soldiers who meet up solely to argue.
A particular highlight is that of the 'Drowned Man', where Jens Blega convincingly plays the part of a gentleman who gets slowly drawn into the madness surrounding him when a stranger attempts to charge him for watching his own drowning. Actor Brendan O'Gorman describes it as a mixture of »some subtle comedy and some wild slapstick«
The short stories have been transformed into a play by the award winning Neil Simon, who also wrote the original 'Odd Couple' and the music which accompanies this show. The Copenhagen Theatre Circle have adapted the play for the current production and theatre, along with designing costumes accurate to the specific fashions of the period.
Although fully enjoyable for its own sake, the play also provides a short introduction to the works of one of Russia's great satirists and if you pay attention you can see how much of the humour relies upon class differences and puncturing perceived self-importance.
The strength of the play comes from its focus upon »universal comedy from a substantial author« says actor Gaby Neubert-Luckner.
Theatre enthusiasts unite
The Copenhagen Theatre Circle is a collection of theatre enthusiasts that have been serving English-language entertainment in Copenhagen for over 40 years. It produces two to three productions a year and hosts a variety of play readings, improvisation courses and acting related events in between.
The theatre group has a couple of free tickets that they can offer you, the interested University Post reader. All you have to do is respond to the following three questions:
What illness did Chekhov suffer from?
What profession did Chekhov study for before he became a full-time writer?
In the film, The Reader from 2008, which of Chekhov's stories is featured?
Send your response to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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