Belgrade Theatre Coventry, February
As the Music Director of the show, Polina presents Russian music along with Merlin Shepherd in Marriage by N.Gogol at The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry in February 2013
It is not often a play begins before it even starts, yet it is whist idly ordering our pre-show drinks that we are introduced to the two people we will be seeing most of during the evening. Although officially listed as members of the production team, musicians Polina Skovoroda Shepherd and Merlin Shepherd are worthy of the cast list and as much characters in the play as the actors themselves. As they take their places at the piano in the foyer we are treated to the catchy sound of Russian romance music which begins to set the atmosphere for the coming performance. They follow us into the auditorium and play their way into position on their perch at the side of the birdcage-like stage. From this point on it is expected that they will blend into the background, but perfectly timed, effortless and quirky instrumentals combined with comical interaction from the on-stage actors ensures our attention doesn’t leave them for long…. read full review
……Performance of the production is easily awarded to Robert Morgan. Although not playing a huge part, his drunken portrayal of Naschermunchsky has the audience wanting to laugh and cry at the same time and his monologue is the most memorable scene of the whole production (and at the performance I attended quite rightly got a round of applause all of its own accompanied by approving nods of the head from the watching musicians).
Nikolai Gogol said, “There is a lot to be said for Marriage. The opposite also applies” The second part of this quote may well represent his opinion on wedded bliss but only the first part is relevant when referring to this performance of Marriage. A pleasing satire that will have the longest married amongst you laughing in agreement, and the unmarried laughing with hopeful denial.