Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Romanovs, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Susan Mansfield.
The Russian Revolution is over. The Tsar and his family are dead. But Lenin has a problem: the country is awash with people claiming to be Romanovs.
This ambitious piece of fictional history by Livewire Theatre is set in the asylum in Ekaterinberg, allegedly opened to contain Romanov pretenders and prevent them undermining the new state. Here, a group of disparate individuals have formed themselves into a happy family of Romanovs bearing a striking resemblance to Tsar Nicholas, his wife and children.
They spend their time enjoying the good life as much as their imaginations will allow and acting out episodes from the family history.
Meanwhile, Anatole Levitsky, Lenin’s right-hand man and the institution’s chief inspector, is struggling with his own responsibilities in the new Russia, and three assassins in tattered greatcoats are intent on their own dark purpose.
Although the play is rather sprawling in its scope, there is some strong acting here, and a fascinating theme about the difficulties a country might have coming to terms with catastrophic change.
In fact, the scenario is imagined with such conviction that the audience is left somewhat confused about where fiction ends and truth begins.
theSpace on the Mile (Venue 39) until 22 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 20 August 2015
Edinburgh Festivals 2015: complete coverage
• Get everything on our Festivals homepage – on desktop, mobile or tablet
• Looking for reviews? Check out the latest Scotsman reviews – or browse all the reviews ranked by star rating
• Don’t miss a thing: sign up to our daily email newsletter
• Watch all the latest videos from the #WOWwagon
• Get distracted by our Festival Blog
• Check out today’s half-price ticket deals
• Follow our social accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – and join the conversation with #WOWfest
• Download the WOW247 app for iOS and Android