A Morning with Guy Burgess
This new play by John Morrison touched me deeply as soon as I started reading it. The clash of Soviet and British mentality and realities offers a rare opportunity to any director, especially one who has spent his childhood in Bresznev's Soviet Union and who's family suffered in 1937.
The complex structure of the script; numerous cameo characters that pop up here and there creating unnerving caleidoscopic picture of Guy's world; the tension between Mr Burgess and his uninvited guest Julia; secrets; lack of trust... The list could be much, much longer! All these qualities make A Morning with Guy Burgess into a great challenge but also a blessing for any director. I'm glad that I happened to be the very first director to undertake it.
My work was made easy by great support from the highly talented and professional cast and the whole creative team of the Courtyard Theatre. This intricate full length play came together in a very short period of time—only three weeks. I am a bit sad that the rehearsals and the run are finished. It was so much fun; so many articles were written; so many comments were made. We even ended up on the Review Show on the BBC!
I am proud of the fact that audiences started to talk about these people from our recent history as if they are still alive today, as if there is our own little Guy Burgess within each of us, who is ready to betray, not only others, but even himself! The revelation might be a disturbing one, but often theatre has to shake its audience in order to help it, or to encourage it to make a change, to think and act differently. Perhaps this show seemed dark in places, scary at times, but I was really trying to convey the athmosphere of existance under the opressive regime where an innocent joke or a dissapproving look could cost people their freedom, and at times, their lives. History should not be forgotten—especially its dark corners—if we want to make sure that the darkness stays confinded in its place.
The cast: Gareth Pilkington, Margarita Nazarenko, Jacob Trenerry, Jacob Fortune, Robin West, Richard Holt, Charles Church, Rich Keeble
Written by John Morrison
Directed by Dimitry Devdariani
Performed at the Courtyard Theatre, London from 11th to 30th January 2011