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Summerfolk [Paperback]

Maxim Gorky , Nick Dear , N Dear


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Book Description

6 Sep 1999
In Nick Dear's version of Gorky's naturalistic masterpiece a diverse group of Russians meet, as they do every year, at their summer holiday retreat. Some are frightened at the prospect of change, some are angry and some yearn for a new life. As they question the value of their work, their art and leisure, they're shocked by the responses their disputes reveal. Relationships break under the strain and scandals of business and infidelity are laid bare.


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About the Author

Maxim Gorky was born in 1868, suffered a deprived childhood and spent his early youth as a vagrant, but by the 1890s he was ranked with Tolstoy and Chekhov among Russia's leading writers. For long he was best known in the West as a novelist, notably for The Mother (1907) and for the three volumes of his Autobiography, with only The Lower Depths (1902) established on the stage; but in the last third of the twentieth century his other plays began also to be recognised for their portrayals of the painful pre-revolutionary decades. Besides Philistines (1901), these included Summerfolk (1904), Children of the Sun (1905), Enemies (1906) and Vassa Shelesnova (1910). After some equivocation and years in exile, he finally embraced the Revolution, and died in 1936.

Nick Dear's plays include Lunch in Venice (NT Connections, 2005); Power (NT, 2003); The Villains' Opera (NT, 2000); Zenobia (RSC, 1995); In the Ruins (Bristol Old Vic, 1990); Food of Love (Théâtre de Complicité, Almeida, 1988); The Art of Success (RSC, 1986); Pure Science (RSC, 1986); and Temptation (RSC, 1984). He also collaborated with Peter Brook on the development of Qui est là? (Bouffes du Nord, 1996). His adaptations include The Promise (after Arbuzov, Tricycle, 2002); Summerfolk (after Gorky, NT, 1999); Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme (after Molière, NT, 1992); The Last Days of Don Juan (after Tirso de Molina, RSC ,1990); and A Family Affair (after Ostrovsky, Cheek by Jowl, 1988). His screenplays include Persuasion, The Turn of the Screw, Cinderella, The Gambler, Byron, Eroica and Agatha Christie's Poirot. Opera libretti include The Palace in the Sky (ENO / Hackney Empire, 2001); and Siren Song (Almeida Opera Festival, 1994). He has also written extensively for BBC Radio, beginning with his first play, Matter Permitted (1980).

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