The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk Works Its Magic on the Actors as Well as the Audience

Jun 6, 2018

Partners in life and on canvas, Marc and Bella Chagall—the flying lovers of Vitebsk—are immortalized as the picture of romance. But whilst on canvas they flew, in life they walked through some of the most devastating times in history.

Cornish theater company Kneehigh, whose Tristan and Yseult had a sold-out run at the Festival in 2006, brings its signature blend of original music, whimsical charm, and utterly mesmerizing theatrical magic back to Charleston. The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk shows the young couple as they navigate the pogroms, the Russian Revolution, and each other. Emma Rice’s production is drawn in a theatrical language as fluid as Chagall’s painting and woven throughout with music and dance inspired by Russian Jewish tradition.

Marc Antolin and Daisy Maywood play Marc and Bella Chagall in this production. They talk with Jeanette Guinn about the lives of the Chagalls, the unique form of the play, and working with director Emma Rice.