New Musical ANNA KARENINA Comes to Covent Garden

New Musical ANNA KARENINA Comes to Covent Garden

Two years after its sell-out run at Oxford University, Anna Karenina, an original musical based on Lev Tolstoy's world-famous novel, makes its London debut with an orchestra and 13-strong cast drawn from the best talent at the University. It was selected by Iris Theatre as part of its Work in Process programme that gives gifted emerging writers an opportunity to showcase their work.

Anna, an unhappily married aristocrat, finds solace upon meeting Captain Vronsky, and embarks on a deeply passionate love affair. However, the pleasure of their infatuation is sharply curbed by the risk of losing custody of her child, and the sting of society's condemnation.

Musically, the songs explore their struggles, and those of the interconnected characters Levin, Kitty, Dolly and Oblonsky- interspersed by powerful, punchy chorus numbers, and dramatic ensemble movement sequences.

Lyrics and music are written by Maria Shepard, an Oxford student trained in musical composition at the St Petersburg State Conservatory. She began composing Anna Karenina at the age of 17, translating parts of the novel from the original Russian, and developed it into a full-scale production over four years.

Although it is set in 19th century Russia, it actively explores themes that also resonate today, such as societal pressures on women.

In Anna Karenina, there are no black and white characters- no heroes or villains. The musical is both tragic and uplifting- a celebration of life and human relationships, as well as a portrayal of their imperfection and messiness.

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