War And Peace at Hampstead

Published April 17, 2008

Nancy Meckler and Polly Teale are to revive their 1996 stage production of Tolstoy’s War And Peace at the Hampstead next April.

Adapted by Helen Edmundson, the two-part production first played at the National over a decade ago. Based on Tolstoy’s epic 1868 novel, the story follows the moral and spiritual journey of Natasha, Pierre and Maria, depicting the impact of the Napoleonic Wars on Russian society over a period of 15 years.

This revival features a new cast of 15 actors playing 72 roles. The full cast is: Richard Attlee, Marion Bailey, Geoffrey Beevers, Louise Ford, Theo Herdman, Barnaby Kay, Jeffery Kissoon, Des McAleer, Hywel Morgan, Sophie Roberts, Vinette Robinson, David Sturzaker, Simon Thorp, Kate Wimpenny and Jonathan Woolf.

Meckler and Teale are co-Artistic Directors of Shared Experience, whose previous productions include Orestes, The Mill On The Floss, Anna Karenina (all adapted by Edmundson), A Passage To India, Mother Courage and Jane Eyre. Meckler’s directorial credits for the Royal Shakespeare Company include The Comedy Of Errors, which played London’s Novello theatre in January 2006, Romeo And Juliet and House Of Desires. Meckler was the first woman to direct at the National Theatre, with a production of Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? in 1981. Teale directed After Mrs Rochester, Brontë (which she also wrote), Madame Bovary and Jane Eyre for Shared Experience, plus Kindertransport at the Hampstead in April this year.

In addition to her work for Shared Experience, Edmundson’s other credits include Mother Theresa Is Dead at the Royal Court and an adaptation of Jamila Gavin’s Coram Boy at the National, which was nominated for a 2006 Best New Play Laurence Olivier Award.

War And Peace plays at the Hampstead from 10 April-11 May 2008 (press day 14 April, Part 1 at 16:00, Part 2 at 20:00), following a run at Nottingham Playhouse in February.

CB