Enemies, by Maxim Gorky

Maxim Gorky - Enemies

BBC Radio 4: The Monday Play

Broadcast: Monday 23th May 1983.

1905. Russia is at a turning point, Zakhar Bardin, liberal minded and from the landowning class, is now the uneasy owner of a factory. His managing director is determined to face down militant workers on a point of principle as they are threatening to strike. But the decision to shut down the business to starve the workers back in line has tragic consequences for everyone concerned.

Gorky's extraordinary play was written in exile in 1906, immediately after the failed Revolution of 1905 and premiered in Bedryansk in 1907 despite being banned from production. "Enemies" presents a panoramic view of a restless society, with a bourgeoisie no longer sure of its own values, and a working class steadily facing up to the terrifying sacrifices ahead. Described by Ronald Bryden in the Observer in 1971 as 'a real discovery . . . the missing link between Chekhov and the Russian revolution', "Enemies" has a dramatic breadth, humour and ambition unique to Gorky.

Adapted by Liane Aukin from a translation by Kitty Hunter-Blair and Jeremy Brooks of Maxim Gorky's 1906 play, "Enemies".

With Allan McClelland [Zakhar Bardin, Owner of the Factory], Jane Wenham [Polina Bardin, Wife of Zakhar], Norman Rodway [Yakov Bardin, Brother to Zakhar], Jennie Stoller [Tatyana, Yakov's Wife - an Actress], Amanda Kirby [Nadya, Polina's Niece], Graham Crowden [General Pechenegov, Uncle to the Bardins], Timothy Bateson [Mikhail Skrobotov, Managing Director, Partner to the Bardins], Barbara Leigh-Hunt [Kleopatra Skrobotov, Mikhail's Wife], Ronald Pickup [Nikolai Skrobotov, Mikhail's Brother, Lawyer, Assistant Prosecutor], Michael Bilton [Kon, a Retired Soldier], Carole Boyd [Grusha], Peter Woodthorpe [Levshin, a Worker], Roger Hammond [Captain Boboyedov], Clive Panto [Sintsov, a Clerk], Stuart Organ [Pologii, a Clerk], Alex Jennings [Grekov, a Worker], Eric Allan [Yagodin, a Worker], Brett Usher [The Inspector / Liet], James Bryce [Kvach, a Soldier], Richard Huw [Ryabtsov, a Soldier / Policeman], and Michael Jenner [Akimov, a Worker].

Directed by Michael Heffernan.

80 minutes.


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