Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Patriots @ Almeida Theatre "Powerful stuff" : Review->

Last Friday night Stuart and I went to see Peter Morgan’s slick Russian oligarch drama Patriots at the Almeida Theatre in London's glitzy Islington.
It's a fun piece that takes on the seemingly unfunny post-Soviet, post-perestroika Russian history of 1991. 
But Morgan has a way with recent history as we have seen with The Crown.
Here, Russian oligarchs - chief amongst them being Boris Berezovsky (played magnetically by Tom Hollander) - are fighting over the carcass of a dying USSR. They cut huge deals, many illegal, that make them richer and richer. They then try to cement those riches with political appointments. Mistakenly Berezovsky picks Vladimir Putin, an obscure minor technocrat, thinking he can use him as a puppet leader. What Berezovsky doesn't realise is Putin has ambitions of his own and when friend turns foe the fight really starts.
With a history of working for the secret service, Putin knows a thing or two about getting what he wants. But Berezovsky, a talented mathematician turned businessman, has a trick or two up his sleeve.
The power struggle gains intensity - reading as it does like Games of Thrones, Succession, Julius Caesar. And the ending is as inevitable as it is tragic.
Will Keen plays Vladimir Putin beautifully. Luke Thallon makes an uncanny Roman Abramovich. 
Powerful stuff.


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