Caucasian Chalk Circle at the Brockley Jack
The Caucasian Chalk Circle is an exciting and engrossing piece of theatre. Excellently choreographed, the actors energetically move throughout the small circular stage – at times, this makes it feel cramped and clustered, but the overall effect is amazing. Using a set made completely of moveable parts, chairs, and containers, the actors move things around to signal scene changes, or to give a scene a sense of movement and commotion. This is done to great effect, and the viewer can often find more than one subject in the bustling stage.
The story follows the complex social struggles of people in southern Russia; the play derives its name from the Caucasus region, during a time of strife and violence. The audience is exposed to several perspectives, and with this nuance is given a rich and entertaining story. Throughout the play, characters that are in some way refugees of the warring nations nearby show some similarities to today’s refugee crisis. The depiction of migrants shows individuality to each case, bringing to mind the question of justice in an extremely messy moral and economic situation.
The Caucasian Chalk Circle‘s set is an astounding mastery of the different theatrical elements. The lights and music correspond with each other, repeating in certain ways to bring parts of other scenes back into play. The lighting ranges from soft natural lighting to a deep horrifying red, to rave-like flashes. The music also varies wildly with string sections, ambient parts, dubstep and trance. This all comes together with the superb acting to create dynamic scenes with a feeling of purpose and progression.
This piece is a dynamic experience, promising to entertain throughout. With its engrossing, quick-moving story, the audience will spend time both on the edge of their seat and falling back with laughter. The movement and synchronicity of the actors is especially intriguing and expressive. This play is well-rounded and strong in many areas, and the audience leaves satisfied.
Photo: Adam Trigg
The Caucasian Chalk Circle is on at the Brockley Jack from 23rd February until 12th March 2016, for further information or to book visit here.