This season Julie Hesmondhalgh will return to the Royal Exchange as the determined and steadfast Mother Courage. Translated by Anna Jordan and directed by Headlong’s Amy Hodge, this new adaptation is sure to bring Bertolt Brecht’s revered classic bang up to date.
War rages over decades, but it’s business as usual for Mother Courage. She roams the grid from one army camp to another, her ragtag offspring in tow. She’s determined to turn the conflict into personal capital – boots, beer, drugs, guns – anything a soldier desires can be bought off the back of Mother Courage’s cart. But what price will she pay in the end?
Written by Brecht in 1939 and set in Europe during the Thirty Years’ War, Mother Courage and her Children is considered to be the greatest anti-war play of all time. This new interpretation by Anna Jordan (Yen, Freak) has been specifically written with Julie Hesmondhalgh in mind.
Alongside Brecht’s Mother Courage and her Children, the Royal Exchange has explored the work of some of the most celebrated playwrights this season – their exciting Autumn/ Winter Season has featured some cracking new adaptations reshaped for modern theatre-goers. Shifting and illuminating these timeless texts, or ‘making the familiar unfamiliar’ (Brecht would approve), invites a contemporary audience to ask some big questions of themselves and of the world in which we live.