Actor George Costigan, a former member of the Everyman company who made his name in cult film Rita, Sue and Bob Too, returns to Liverpool this autumn in Playhouse’s new production of Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment.
He will play detective Porfiry, whose suspicions about a double murder lead him to story’s main protagonist, student Raskolnikov, played by Adam Best. This new adaptation by Chris Hannan is directed by Glasgow Citizens Theatre artistic director Dominic Hill and will be at the Playhouse from October 1 to 19. Interesting that the Unity will be staging another production of classic Russian literature, Bulgarov’s Master and Margarita, at the very same time.
Costigan was a member of the of the Everyman company from 1974 to 1982, and was last seen on stage in the city in The Odd Couple at the Playhouse in 2005. He played the original Mickey Johnstone in Blood Brothers when it premiered at the Playhouse in 1983 (also on stage in Liverpool this October!) and on television he has appeared in Emmerdale and Doctor Who. Adam Best has been a regular cast member in Holby City and his stage credits include The Woman in Black (Fortune Theatre) and Public Enemy (Young Vic).
A psychological thriller conceived during Dostoyevsky’s Siberian prison term, Crime and Punishment gets inside the mind of starving, destitute student Raskolnikov who commits a brutal double murder. Plagued by guilt and the local magistrate, Raskolnikov’s redemption is offered in the form of Sonya, a downtrodden prostitute.
It’s a notoriously heavy read, so the Playhouse promises Dominic Hill’s production will bring the classic story to life for audiences, drawing inspiration from Hill’s own experience working in a raucous Russian theatre.
He says: “Crime and Punishment is one of the greatest novels ever written and I’ve always felt that the theatrical characters and gripping plot would make for an exciting stage show. The novel is rarely adapted for the stage and Chris Hannan’s new version will make it fresh and accessible to those who are devoted fans as well as those who never made it cover to cover.”
A co-production between the Playhouse, Glasgow Citizens Theatre and the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, the ensemble cast is completed by Mabel Clements (A Doll’s House, Young Vic), Amiera Darwish (Glasgow Girls, National Theatre of Scotland), Chris Donald , Cate Hamer, Jessica Hardwick, John Paul Hurley (Shameless, Channel 4), Jack Lord and Obioma Ugoala. Music by Macedonian composer Nikola Kodjabashia will be performed live on stage.