August 30, 2012

Traditionally the Royal Shakespeare Company invites its two Stratford assistant directors to put on a play each at the end of the season, but in 2000 they combined their efforts to stage Laughter in the Dark.

Laughter In The  Dark was written by Vladimir Nabokov, the book has been filmed and turned into an opera it has never previously been seen in the theatre.

The production, directed by Rebecca McCutcheon and Craig Higginson, was staged at The Other Place in Stratford

Craig Higginson was quoted in the Birmingham Post in an article by Terry Grimley:

'I was interested in adapting something, and when I got talking to Rachel we thought it would be a good idea if we pooled our efforts because we would be able to get double the budget and be able to do something more adventurous,'

'I generally don't think it's a good idea to adapt novels into plays, but this, which I literally took off the shelf, is only a short novel and it's very strong. Nabokov's later novels are quite textural and dense but this is quite simple, and it seemed something one could very easily adapt.'  - September 27, 2000

The book was written in Berlin in the 1920's and is about the downfall of a married middle-aged man through his infatuation for a young woman he meets in a cinema.

Higginson went on to describe the plot, 'It's quite like Lolita except that she's older, about 17,' 'She's much less a victim - she's already worked as a prostitute. The power balance between the two characters is more interesting than in Lolita. This girl uses him and destroys him.'

'He is a humanist, an art critic who loves beautiful things. She represents a younger and more ruthless generation.'

The play ran for an hour and a half with no interval and the set was staged to look like a film set. Staged like a film they even used film in the production, going on location to film in London and Warwick.

Performances were September 27th and October 4th at 1:30 pm and September 25th, 30th and October 2nd at 11:30 pm after the regular evening RSC performances.

David appeared as Dawid Tenemann who stars in the 'film' 'Kamera Obscura.' , which is the original title of Nabokov's book.