The Promise  
The Promise

by Aleksei Arbuzov
Translated by Ariadne Nicolaeff

Directed by Alison Liney

February 3rd - 7th, 2009

The Tower Theatre performing at Theatro Technis, Camden

Photography by Alexander Knapp
Lika : Nikky Arding
Marat : Stuart Brown
Leonidik : Dan Jackson
Production Team
Director : Alison Liney
Set and Costume Designer : Barrie Addenbrooke
Sound Designer : Peta Barker
Lighting Designer : Andy Peregrine

Stage Manager : Neal J Roberts
Assistant Stage Managers : Anthony Green, David Liney
Sound Operator : Martin Brady
Lighting Operator : Elizabeth Goode
Wardrobe : Jill Batty, Jude Chalk
Uniforms : Sue Lacey
Set Construction Manager : Keith Syrett
Set Construction and Set Dressing : Tess Walsh, Jill Batty, Barrie Addenbrooke and members of the company
Original music composed and performed by : Colin Guthrie
Hair and Make-up : London School of Media Make-Up
Photography : Alexander Knapp, David Liney
Special thanks to : Mike and Jennie Mende, Jonathan Norris, Ruth Sanderson, Joyce Terry, Chloë Faine

Review by Gabriella la Rocha in the Camden New Journal

The Tower Theatre Company's production of the West End hit of 1972 focuses on conflict and how it affects love, friendship and the promise of a better world.

Leningrad, 1942, three teenagers unite in their search for warmth and a place to sleep, while neighbours are dying daily in their homes because of the fierce and glacial winter - an enemy as powerful as a German attack.

Taking furniture from the deceased and burning books for the stove are the only means of survival. Food is rationed and talons (coupons in Russian) are hard to find.

Matar, played by Stuart Brown, brings Lika a cube of sugar - is he courting her? Leonidik turns up injecting new life into their friendship, and possibly love, but it's the hardship and the cruelty of war that surface and dictate their choices and decisions.

As the play moves forward to 1959, questions arise - do they live in a better world, are they happier in their new country, has Lika married the right man?

The two young men fought the war, but do they know what they were fighting for?

The cast magnifies the pain brought by the war and show how it never ebbs. It's the cast who pull it off during the second act, when the confrontation of the three characters becomes tiresome.