Scottish premier

DUNDEE College HND acting and performance students are bringing a ‘premier’ to The Space, in the shape of, The Last Days of Yegor Bulychev, by Maxim Gorky the ‘father’ of soviet literature.

The students are taking part in a version of the play translated by Cathy Porter.

Originally written in 1932, the play is set in February 1917 – just before the Russian revolutions of that year, the Tsar being forced to abdicate the following month – social order is beginning to collapse, and Bulychev, the head of a large firm in a provincial town, is dying.

Gorky surrounds the eponymous protagonist with symbols of the old order, faith-healers, priests and shamans, as well as grasping relatives eager to divide up the dying man’s wealth.

Bulychev recognises them for the fraudsters and sycophants that they are but, knowing that is own wealth and power was built on deceit, cannot condemn them.

A total of 13 students are taking part in the play, under the direction of lecturer Paul Christie.

“This is a Scottish premier, in fact, as far as I can see the play has only been performed once before in Britain, in 1937,” said Paul. The play is hugely relevant to what is happening in the world right now with revolutionary change across the Middle East and North Africa but at the same time it is very much a family drama.

“In terms of building his business, Yegor Bulychev could be described as the Alan Sugar of his time, though in his last days Yegor is desperately searching for some meaning to his largely sinful life.

“He’s no angel but he’s a lovable rogue at heart..

“Staged in an intimate ‘in the round’ setting the play, which includes live music, is wonderfully funny and very entertaining.”

The Last Days of Yegor Bulychev runs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 19-21. Curtain at 7.30pm, bar opens 7pm.Tickets (£8 and £6 conc) available from The Space Box Office phone (01382) 834934.