Gogol comic masterpiece unveiled in Coventry

Published: 26 January 2013
Reporter: Steve Orme

Barbara Young, Janine Mellor and Jan Goodman in rehearsal for Marriage Credit: Nicola Young

Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre aims to banish the winter blues with its new production Marriage which starts this week.

Set in the Russian city of St Petersburg, Marriage tells the story of indecisive civil servant Ivan as he decides it’s time to take a wife.

His local matchmaker comes forward with a blushing bride-to-be, but she already has a string of suitors lined up to take her hand.

Driven to distraction by all the dithering, Ivan’s best friend devises a cunning plan to help wipe out the competition and make sure the day ends with wedding bells.

The Belgrade’s artistic director Hamish Glen who directs Marriage said, “The Belgrade has a long tradition of producing plays that explore the theme of marriage, including Scenes from a Marriage, Nora, The Father and most recently The Dark at the Top of the Stairs.

“This new production of Gogol’s comic masterpiece is the perfect antidote to post-Christmas blues as it provides a more comic look at the institution of marriage.”

The role of the bride-to-be will be played by Janine Mellor, who many will recognise as Kelsey Philips from BBC drama Casualty and Mercedes from ITV show Fat Friends.

The cast also includes John Hopkins who will be in the BBC drama Dancing on the Edge, written and directed by Stephen Poliakoff, which will be shown on Monday 4 February.

Returning to the Belgrade is Barbara Young who played the nurse in The Father last year and Paul Trussell who played Le Noir in the Belgrade’s production The Three Musketeers and the Princess of Spain in 2010.

Jan Goodman returns to the Belgrade for the first time since the 1980s when she performed in numerous shows including The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Murder at the Vicarage.

Completing the cast are Mark Fleischmann, Mark Extance, Robert Morgan and Nick Figgis.

Marriage will run in the Belgrade’s B2 auditorium from Saturday (2 February) until Saturday 23 February.