Review of Fortune’s Fool at the Old Vic

Along with a friend, J, I was very lucky to be gifted a ticket to see Mike Paulton’s version of Fortune’s Fool by Ivan Turgenev at the Old Vic in London just before Christmas. J is very good friends with Janet Fullerlove, who plays the role of Praskovya Ivanova in the play, and I have met Janet on several occasions, as well as having had the pleasure to see her perform in Regent’s Park outdoor theatre a couple of years ago.

Despite working 10 mins walk from the Old Vic for 2 years I am ashamed to say that this was the first time I had set foot inside it. What a beautiful building it is, with so much history too.

The Old Vic by night
The Old Vic by night

I was greeted by J and a glass of champagne in the bar while we waited for the play to begin, which is usually the best way to start these things ;-)

I wasn’t really sure what to expect as I’m no theatre critic (I do love a musical though), I’d also been having sleepless nights with C beforehand so was worried that the lights going down might trigger sleep signals in my head. I shouldn’t have worried, the play grabs you and pulls you in from the get-go. Within seconds of the curtain going up the audience was laughing, whilst this humour continued throughout the play there was tragedy woven in amongst it, so we were taken on a journey from laughing out loud one minute to a feeling of great sympathy and sadness for a certain character the next minute. The play cleverly played on your heart strings and worked you through a range of emotions.

Despite Fortune’s Fool being a translation from the original Russian, and thus having the odd complicated name or two, this doesn’t distract from the story or cause any problems in understanding what’s going on.

The actual theatre part of the Old Vic is just incredible, having got used to watching blockbuster musicals in enormous theatres in the West End I’d forgotten how amazing it is to watch drama up close in an intimate location, which the Old Vic is, and the experience was incredible.

Hubs was very excited when I showed him a poster for the play and he realised that Iain Glen has a lead role in it. For those of you who don’t recognise the name you may know him better as Jorah Mormont from Game of Thrones. He may be the only “known” actor in the production, but the quality of acting across the board was outstanding, with everyone drawing the audience fully into the tragic, touching, humourous story.

Poster for Fortune's Fool with Iain Glen and Richard McCabe
Poster for Fortune’s Fool with Iain Glen and Richard McCabe

Photo credit: The Old Vic

The play is directed by Lucy Bailey and is the second play of hers that I’ve had the pleasure to watch, and I can only commend her latest work whole-heartedly. To top it all off the set design is absolutely breath-taking – you are transported to mid-19th century aristocratic Russia throughout the play, with William Dudley managing wonders in such a small space.

I can’t recommend this play enough, so if you’re anywhere near London do head on over as you won’t regret it. Tickets start at £11 and it runs until 22nd February. For more information and to book tickets go to the Old Vic’s website.

Disclosure: The tickets for Fortune’s Fool were gifted to me by a friend. I chose to write this review after seeing the play and enjoying it so much, however I was under no obligation to share my views.

I’m linking up to the all new “All About You” linky as my day out at the theatre was definitely all about me! Click on the link below to see more.

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8 thoughts on “Review of Fortune’s Fool at the Old Vic”

    1. It was really fantastic, and so lovely to spend some time in grown-up company, being “me” :-)

    1. There is just so much choice in London, it’s wonderful, and I am ashamed I’d never been to the Old Vic before, it really is so beautiful.

    1. Do go to the Old Vic if you get the chance, it’s such a beautiful place, and so easy to get to as well.

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