Back to All Events

Caucasian Chalk Circle by Bertolt Brecht, translated by Alastair Beaton

Ample food for thought
— Philip Horton, Bath Chronicle
A must for all drama enthusiasts
— Petra Schofield, Guide2Bath

“Terrible is the seductive power of goodness” (The Singer, Act 1)

The Caucasian Chalk Circle is a wonderful and timeless fable with themes which remain relevant to our modern world. 

In the aftermath of a violent civil war, the people of a village in Grusinia are helped by a Narrator to put on a play which tells two stories. The first story tells of Grusha. She is a peasant girl engaged to a soldier, who rescues a rich baby during a violent revolution. Threatened by pursuing soldiers and the prejudice of others, Grusha and the baby eventually escape to a kind of safety with her brother in the remote mountains - until the child’s natural mother returns.

Then begins the tale of Azdak, a disreputable peasant. In the anarchy of the revolution he becomes a judge almost by accident and with his followers sets about gleefully enforcing his own very unusual interpretation of justice.

Eventually, the two stories come together when Azdak is given the job of deciding whether Grusha or the natural mother should keep the child - a decision which he makes by using the ancient test of the chalk circle.

Brecht’s masterpiece entertains whilst raising fundamental questions about power and ownership. Drawing on Next Stage’s considerable company strengths and using Alistair Beaton’s modern-day translation with especially composed music, this ensemble production aims to engage the audience’s imagination and provide an unforgettable interpretation of this iconic play. Don’t just take our word for it - come along and judge for yourself.

“It's our job to entertain. Your job to draw conclusions.” (The Singer, Prologue)


Rehearsal Photographs: