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Philistines

Maxim Gorky
Translated by Andrew Upton
Format
Paperback
ISBN
9780571238675
Date Published
07.06.2007
Delivery
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Summary

Sung at a funeral and a wedding today. The full gamut of the human experience from the ridiculous to the utterly pointless.

A restless bunch of young radicals hang out, have sex, dance, drink, moan and philosophise at the home of a prosperous decorator. While Pyotr, a sometime student of law, falls for the lovely, loose-living lodger, his sister carps on about the tedium of life, lusts after Nil who’s blind to her charms but in pursuit of the servant and botches her own suicide.

Life. People shout, fight, eat and go to bed. When they wake up? They start shouting again. In this house everything fades quickly. Tears, laughter. Everything. Dissipates. The last sounds ringing out over the lake. Then nothing. A banal hum.

A household falls to pieces as the personal and political turmoil of pre-revolutionary Russia gathers pace. Gorky’s darkly comic first play of 1902, banned from public performance under the Czarist regime, is seen here in an exuberant new version by Andrew Upton.

Philistines premiered at the National Theatre, London, in May 2007.

MaximGorky

Maxim Gorky was born in 1868, suffered a deprived childhood and spent his early youth as a vagrant, but by the 1890s he was ranked with Tolstoy and Chekhov among Russia’s leading writers. For long he was best known in the West as a novelist, notably for The Mother (1907) and for the three volumes of his Autobiography, with only…

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