Theatre review: Anastasia at Pushkin House

11:43 25 April 2012

Enthralling drama about Russian princess made all the more gripping by atmospheric setting

Pushkin House is a beautiful period home in Bloomsbury dedicated to all things Russian.

So the Grade II listed property is a fitting backdrop for the mysterious and beguiling tale of Anastasia, the enigmatic Romanov princess.

The year is 1928, ten years after the murder of the Tsar and his family during the revolution.

Rumours abound that one of the Tsarina’s is still alive, and three desperate businessmen find a lookalike to fool the remainder of the royal family and get their hands on the £30million the Tsar left in London.

It’s a tense, atmospheric affair and the nature of the stage – the audience are sat in a drawing room and the action takes place right in front of them – makes it all the more gripping.

The performances also help - Andrew Byron is fantastic as the scheming General Bounin and Eileen Nicholas is a compelling mixture of strength and tenderness as the Dowager Empress.

It’s a great tale, albeit different from the famous 1956 movie, and retains the same air of bafflement surrounding the protagonist.

Watching this classic Russian fairytale in an ornate period home makes for an enthralling and enjoyable evening.

* Anastasia was at Pushkin House in Bloomsbury Square, WC1.

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