Director Anthony Lau reimagines Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel using Helen Edmundson’s compelling and condensed adaptation. The result is an impactful and highly entertaining production for Sheffield Theatres, on stage now at the Crucible.
Anna Karenina is a thrilling exploration of relationships, competing needs and desires, obligations, betrayal and disobedience set in late-19th-century Russian high society. Have you rolled your eyes imagining a dull period play? You need to reconsider.
Lau’s production contrasts symbols of the period with vivid costumes and contemporary music and language. It all explodes in hilarious scenes that expose the ridiculousness of the aristocracy, to which Tolstoy belonged. Add in a giant pink cake, glittery and sequin costumes, and bright green and yellow hula hoops. Mix them with lust, loss, and reflections on the essence of a meaningful life, and you'll get a more accurate feel of what to expect from this play.