Three Days In The Country

Published July 29, 2015

What’s it all about?

Three days in the country with a group of individuals who have a whole lot of love to give and one man who is set to receive pretty much all of it.

You want more detail? Okay then. Vera loves Belyaev, Bolshintsov wants to marry Vera, Natalya is obsessed with Belyaev, Belyaev’s in love with the maid, Rakitin adores Natalya, Shpigelsky…

We kept it simple for a reason…

Who’s in it?

There are many fine performances amongst this stellar NT cast but the one that is likely to garner most, if not all, of the attention from audiences and critics is undoubtedly Mark Gatiss’ Shpigelsky. An enthusiastic cane-wielder, hilarious drunk and self-confessed maestro of misdiagnosis, he provides a perfectly polished finish to Patrick Marber’s already sparklingly wit.

John Simm comes close in the comedy ranks as the amusingly put-out Rakitin and Debra Gillett is hilariously cutting as the object of Shpigelsky’s unique affections, Lizaveta.

Other great performances come from Amanda Drew’s highly strung, obsessive Natalya, Royce Pierreson, who brings modesty to the role of the household’s worshipped tutor Belyaev, and John Light as a fiery but commendably reasonable Arkady.

What should I look out for?

Several pearls of wisdom including “It is simply wrong to jump on a cow.”

The consumption of raspberries. An extremely amusing affair in the hands of Simm, Gatiss and Nigel Betts.

And a marriage proposal gone wrong… really wrong… that, bearing in mind Mark Gatiss’ Shpigelsky is involved, would probably never have gone right in the first place.

In a nutshell?

Three Days In The Country equals two hours and 15 minutes of absolute delight in the presence of Patrick Marber’s ingenious Turgenev adaptation.

What’s being said on Twitter?

Will I like it?

This is Gatiss at the height of hilarity, what’s not to like? You’ll chuckle at his inebriated snuff-spilling, titter at his handkerchief-waving bee-impersonation and guffaw at his pain-ridden floor-writhing. Sounds harsh, but you will.

And that’s not all, there is plenty to love about Olivier Award winner Marber’s latest offering, whether it’s the writer and director’s comedy-crammed script, Mark Thompson’s simple set or any one of Gatiss’ fellow outstanding co-stars. Why spend three days in the country when you can spend an evening at the theatre in the capital?

Three Days In The Country is playing at the National Theatre Lyttelton until 21 October. You can book tickets for the show through us.