Having tackled the likes of Chopin, Beethoven and Irving Berlin, Hershey Felder tackles the life and works of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in this fascinating 90 minute new play with music. Hershey Felder completely inhabits the Russian composer whilst interlacing the narrative with his own findings when researching the composer’s life.
I have to say going into this, I didn’t recognise the Tchaikovsky name at all but I had heard of his ballet The Nutcracker. My first instinct was that I was going to watch 90 minutes of a Wikipedia entry. And for the first half an hour, I did feel it. But then, Felder starts paralleling the treatment of homosexuality in Russia today to the late 1800s and that was the moment I was hooked. Soon after, Felder ties Tchaikovsky’s famous pieces of classical music to the composer’s experiences including Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony being dedicated to his nephew, referred to as Bob, based on the infatuation he had for Bob. The piece also discusses how Tchaikovsky was treated by a woman he married and how this affected his life and the possibility it could have influenced how clinically depressed he may have been.
It is a truly unique piece of theatre even if it takes a while to get going. Hershey Felder is a truly unique individual who is very talented down to his accent, acting and incredible piano skills. And it is an interesting narrative about the treatment of homosexuality, particularly in Russia today. But maybe do some background research before seeing it.
Our Great Tchaikovsky is running at The Other Palace until 22nd October. For tickets and more information please visit https://theotherpalace.co.uk/whats-on/hershey-felder-our-great-tchaikovsky
Until next time,