Previewed 4 July 2019, Opened 10 July 2019, Closed 31 August 2019 at the Harold Pinter Theatre
A major stage production of Rona Munro's stage adaptation of Louis de Bernieres' Captain Corelli's Mandolin in London for a strictly limited season
When you fall in love. Everything becomes possible... Captain Corelli, an enigmatic young Italian officer, is posted to the idyllic Greek island of Cephalonia in 1941 as part of the occupying forces. Although at first he is shunned by the locals, he proves to be civilised, humorous, and a consummate musician.
The Captain is soon thrown together with Dr Iannis' strong willed and beautiful daughter Pelagia, who discovers all of the complexities of love, and how it can blossom in the most unexpected and profound way.
This stage production comes into London's West End following a three-month UK tour.
The cast at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London features Alex Mugnaioni as 'Captain Antonio Carelli' and Madison Clare as 'Pelagia', with Joseph Long as 'Dr Iannis', Ashley Gayle as 'Mandras', Ryan Donaldson as 'Carlo', Fred Fergus as 'Francesco', Graeme Dalling, Eliot Giuralarocca, Luisa Guerreiro, Kezrena James, Eve Polycarpou, John Sandeman, Stewart Scudamore, Kate Spencer and Elizabeth Mary Williams. Directed by Melly Still with movement by George Siena, designs by Mayou Trikerioti, video by Dom Baker, lighting by Malcolm Rippeth, music by Harry Blake, and sound by Jon Nicholls.
When this production was seen at the start of it's UK tour at the Rose Theatre, Kingston-upon-Thames, in April 2019, with the same cast, Fiona Mountford in the London Evening Standard described it as having "a vivid and tumbling dramatic presence with strong musical elements, from inventive director Melly Still and adaptor Rona Munro." Neil Norman in the Daily Express thought that, "under Melly Still's superb direction, the story brings out the exigencies of war in the first half and the difficulties of love across the political divide in the second. Music and dancing are beautifully integrated into Rona Munro's economical text... A very rewarding night." Claire Allfree in the Daily Telegraph said that "it's to Rona Munro and Melly Still's great credit that they've produced a fleet, muscular retelling that somewhat miraculously comes in at two and a half hours... Melly Still makes light work of a weighty narrative, marshalling the story with balletic grace and beautiful use of music." Ann Treneman in the Times wrote that Captain Corelli was "played by Alex Mugnaioni with panache... there is a real spark between him and Madison Clare, who is terrific as Pelagia... Bravo to the sheer theatrical nature of it all, the attention to detail and the emphasis on surprise and spectacle, bound together by some moving musical moments."
Melly Still's London directing credits include Helen Edmundson stage adaptation of Jamila Gavin's Coram Boy at the National Theatre's Olivier Theatre in 2005 and 2006.
Louis de Bernieres' novel Captain Corelli's Mandolin was originally released in 1994 and was made into a movie in 2001 starring Nicolas Cage in the title role with Penelope Cruz as 'Pelagia'.
"This is a hugely enjoyable evening, reminding audiences why de Bernieres' sweeping historical fiction was so popular, while also finding new theatrical means of telling the story. There are whimsical choices, such as a pet pine marten and big-eyed goat being played - very charmingly - by actors. But Still also fills the stage with epic, evocative images and movement, whether suggesting changing seasons or the horrors of war... Two crumpled copper panels loom over Mayou Trikerioti's sparse set, and with Malcolm Rippeth's gorgeous lighting, you can almost feel the Mediterranean sun on your face. Warmly recommended." The Mail on Sunday
"Melly Still's ambitious production inventively conveys the sense of World War II sweeping over the island of Cephalonia, where the charms of an occupying soldier - the mandolin-playing Italian Captain Corelli - melts the resistance of Pelagia, daughter of the island's humane doctor... Yet despite a loyal adaptation by Rona Munro, the multiple narrative threads of the book sometimes feel similarly scattered... Even so, Alex Mugnaioni as the sensitive Corelli and Madison Clare as the tough Pelagia do well at embodying the attraction of being opposite, not just in terms of character but of being on opposing sides in a war." The London Metro
Captain Corelli's Mandolin in London at the Harold Pinter Theatre previewed from 4 July 2019, opened on 10 July 2019, and closed on 31 August 2019