Brecht - The Caucasian Chalk Circle

Activity: Consultancy typesConsultancy

Description

Laura Bradley worked as consultant to Stuart Nash, the Artistic Director of the National Performing Arts Studio of Kenya, on his production of Brecht’s play 'The Caucasian Chalk Circle' for the Kenya National Theatre. The play premiered in Nairobi on 15 May 2018 and ran there for ten performances, before going on regional tour to eight towns and cities.

Laura Bradley advised Stuart Nash by email during the rehearsal process, and her advice directly influenced his staging decisions. He sought this advice because none of his actors were trained in Brechtian methods, and the idea of staging anti-illusionist theatre was completely new to them.

The Kenyan Ministry of Education recommended the production to schools and paid for tickets for over 1,000 school students to see the production. The Ministry offered this support because the play is one of two set texts on the KCSE school leaving certificate examination, and students have tended to underperform on it. Schools tend to teach the play simply as written text, with no reference to Brecht’s aims for epic theatre or the context in which he was writing.

The production received a glowing review in the Kenyan Arts Review, headlined ‘Brecht at his best’. The reviewer praised staging decisions that Stuart developed in response to LB’s comments, as evidenced in their email correspondence. The reviewer commented that ‘stagings of the set texts will never be the same now’, writing that it was a production ‘that not only students but all theatre lovers need to go and see’.
PeriodApr 2018May 2018
Work forNational Performing Arts Studio, Kenya
Degree of RecognitionInternational