Mother Courage and Her Children

Previewed 25 April 2000, Opened 26 April 2000, Closed 20 May 2000 at the Ambassadors Theatre in London

Shared Experience Theatre present Bertolt Brecht's play Mother Courage and Her Children in London for a limited season

For Mother Courage, war is strictly business - a chance to trade in boots and brandy. Relentlessly she drags her children across the battlefields of Europe, fiercely determined that she can profit from war while protecting her family from the bloodshed that surrounds them. But in a world that hovers between war and peace, events finally overtake Mother Courage, robbing her of the children she holds dear...

Acclaimed the world over for their highly physical and visual productions, award-winning Shared Experience Theatre now brings Brecht's masterpiece to the stage with Kathryn Hunter in the title role.

The cast features Kathryn Hunter, Nicholas R Bailey, Hayley Carmichael, David Fielder, Francis Lee, Marcello Magni, Clive Mendus, Rachel Sanders, Simon Walter and Maurice Yeoman. Play by Bertolt Brecht in a new translation by Lee Hall. Directed by Nancy Meckler with movement by Liz Ranken, designs by Angela Davies, lighting by Tina MacHugh and music by Dominic Muldowney.

"Ms Hunter brings her prey, Bertolt Brecht's anti-heroine, back to life as a wise cracking gipsy queen, but the spirit of Brecht's grinding sermon eludes her... Ms Hunter has too much innate warmth to alienate an audience. Her amoral greed is childlike and even elfin, seldom repellent. That said, Nancy Meckler's penny-plain, committed staging with the Shared Experience Company has gusto and heart... A strongly theatrical experience with a bravura central performance, but in my case it was watched rather than shared." The Daily Mail

"Kathryn Hunter plays the exhausting central role in Mother Courage and Her Children, Brecht's most famous epic drama, and the production at the New Ambassadors, by Nancy Meckler for Shared Experience, suggests that it is a poorer work than we have supposed... Hunter gives us a Courage who grossly puts business before anything else and, precisely as Brecht intended, learns nothing from a succession of fatal misjudgments... There are decent enough performances in some of the minor roles, acted in front of a set by Angela Davies that suggests a sailmaker's yard, but the production seldom engages full attention, intellectual even if not emotional. Nor does Lee Hall's translation help us grasp the significance of Brecht's occasional clues. 'What happens to the hole when the cheese is eaten?' I learn elsewhere that the hole is peace and the cheese is war. You could have fooled me." The Times

Mother Courage and Her Children in London at the Ambassadors Theatre previewed from 25 April 2000, opened on 26 April 2000 and closed 20 May 2000