The Caucasian Chalk Circle

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Written by Bertolt Brecht
Translated by Frank McGuinness
Directed by Jesse Jones

The graduating students of Bristol Old Vic Theatre School present Bertolt Brecht’s great moral masterpiece and one of his most popular plays, which powerfully demonstrates his pioneering theatrical techniques.

The right to happiness is fundamental; men live so little time and die alone.

A city burns in the heat of civil war and Grusha, a young servant girl, must make a choice: save herself or sacrifice everything to rescue an abandoned child.

But when peace and order are finally restored, the Governor’s wife returns to claim her son. Echoing the Judgement of Solomon, the two women argue over possession of the child and it is left to Brecht’s great comic creation, the drunken judge Azdak, to determine who is the real mother of the forgotten child.

Calling upon the ancient tradition of the Chalk Circle, the unruly judge sets about resolving the dispute.

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Alice Birbara– Azdak /Soldier/ Fat Woman/ Man/ Ensemble

Avery Breyne- Cartwright– Cook/Aniko/Second Doctor/ Architect/ Older Lady/ Ludiovica/ Refugee/Ensemble

Léerin Campbell – Shauva, Mother-in-Law, Younger Lady, First Doctor, Architect, Nanny/ Ensemble

James Copplestone Farmer– Adjutant/Lavrenti/ First Man/ Nephew/ Second Lawyer/Ensemble

James Costello Ladanyi– Simon/ House Servant/ Stable Lad/ Ensemble

Jessie Fahay– Singer/Ensemble/ Farmer

Darby Hannon– Singer/Ensemble/ Farmer

Marine Laurencelle-Gaudreau– Grusha/ Ensemble

Rachel McVay– Fat Prince/Ensemble/ Merchant Woman/ Man/ Soldier/ The Bandit

Brian Pater– Governor/Monk/ Peasant/ First Soldier

Claire Shenstone-Harris– Singer/ Ensemble/ Farmer

Adam Troyer– Jessup/Corporal/ Ensemble/ Groom/ 2nd Soldier/ Rider

Sarah Young– Expert/ Ensemble/ Inn Keeper/ 1st Lawyer/ Old Man/ Second Man/Old Woman/ Landlord

Freja Zeuthen– Natella Abashvili/ Peasant Woman/ Ensemble

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Creative Team

Director (visiting professional) Jesse Jones

Assistant Director Claire O’Reilly

Set Designer Roisin Martindale

Costume Designer Robin Davis

Lighting Designer (visiting professional) Chris Swain

Composer (visiting professional) Jack Drewry

Additional Composition Darby Hannon and Claire Shenstone-Harris

Sound Designer Harriet Hollinshead-Lee

Voice and Dialect Coach Carol Fairlamb

Production Manager Jon Sherwood

Production Supervisor Ruth Sidery

Stage Manager Tasha Outen / Harriet Hollinshead

Deputy Stage Manager Antonia Howlett

Assistant Stage Managers Atlanta Russell and Charlotte Woolley

Production Electrician/AV Daniel Harvey

Projection Mapping Joe Stathers

Lighting Operator Kirk Clifford

Sound Operator Kaija Brunyate


All production photography by Mark Dawson

Image Credit - Hide the Shark