A Hero of Our Time - Arcola Theatre

Tuesday 13 November 2018

Drama - Off-West End

Oliver Bennett, Scarlett Saunders and James Marlowe have been cast in a new adaptation of Mikhail Lermontov's A Hero of Our Time - playing at the Arcola Theatre from 19 November to 15 December.

The Fishermen at Arcola Theatre

Image: Arcola Theatre

Created by HUNCHtheatre, a new international company comprised of artists from the UK, Belarus and Columbia, A Hero Of Our Time marks the world premiere of a new adaptation of Mikhail Lermontov's neglected 1840 novel.

Following a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe, it runs at the Arcola Theatre for four weeks only from 19 November to 15 December.

A Hero of Our Time is directed by Fringe First and Obie award-winning Belarussian director Vladimir Shcherban (BELARUS FREE THEATRE's 4.48 Psychosis, Being Harold Pinter, Minsk 2011, Zone of Silence, New York '79, King Lear, Price of Money and Tommorrow I Was Always A Lion).

Writer Oliver Bennet said ...

"We have chosen to adapt the Princess Mary section of Lermontov's novel.

Over a long period of time we tried out different sections of the text to see what had the most theatrical potential.

We wanted at every stage to mix nineteenth century Russia with twenty-first century London.

Sometimes the script follows Lermontov's poetic style and sometimes we use an ultra-modern slang.

We mix balls and duels with modern technology to create a timeless zone.

We wanted to reflect the speed and thrill of the original to make a visually, physically, verbally arresting experience. "

The cast is:

Oliver Bennett (as Pechorin)

Scarlett Saunders (as Vera and Princess Mary)

James Marlowe (as Grushnitsky)

A Hero of Our Time at the Arcola Theatre

(From left) Oliver Bennett, Scarlett Saunders, James Marlowe

About Oliver Bennett

Mr Bennett studied at Warwick University and trained as an actor at RADA.

He has worked extensively on stage and screen, including with Edward Bond, Howard Barker, David Hare and David Leveaux.

His credits include Backbeat (Glasgow Citizen's Theatre, West End, Toronto and LA), Tomorrow I Was Always A Lion, Price of Money (BFT), Worst Wedding Ever (Salisbury Playhouse), Booby's Bay (Finborough), The Coroner (BBC), All Is By My Side.

He is also a playwright, winner of the 2017 Mercury Playwriting Award and recipient of a Peggy Ramsay Bursary.

His debut play Europe After The Rain opened at the Mercury Theatre in May 2018.

He runs online sketch comedy group Patronised Horses and is the co-founder and co-artistic director of HUNCHtheatre.

About Scarlett Saunders

Television credits include: Casualty (BBC), Doctors (BBC). Theatre credits include: Slick (National Youth Theatre), The Will (Foppish Theatre Company).

Whilst in Training: Some Voices, Hindle Wakes, Rocket to the Moon, Three Sisters, The Rivals, Twelfth Night, Hotel Paradiso (all Drama Centre).

About James Marlowe

James trained at LAMDA.

His theatre credits include: A Hero of Our Time (Edinburgh), Touch (Soho Theatre); Waiting for Waiting for Godot (St James Theatre); The Play That Goes Wrong (Duchess Theatre & Australia Tour); Blue Man Group (NYC, Boston, US Tour); Macbeth (Mercury Theatre); The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (Park Theatre); and Prime Time (Royal Court).

James is a founding member of Tucked In Productions.

About the company

HUNCHtheatre is a new international theatre company based in London, founded by Vladimir Shcherban - award-wining director from Belarus - and Oliver Bennett - British actor and award-winning playwright.

Their ethos is to mix European and British aesthetics, creating a much needed cultural exchange.

They are committed to following their hunch and making theatre without barriers - be they cultural, linguistic, political or bureaucratic.

Their first show A Hero Of Our Time was created in a social housing living room in London, previewed in the underground lounge of a 5 star hotel in Soho, then went to the Edinburgh Festival.

HUNCHtheatre will create modern versions of neglected masterpieces from European literature.

They are currently working on a show about the life and death of Soviet theatre director Vsevolod Meyerhold and his wife Zinaida Reich.


Pechorin, a resting soldier, amuses himself in a dull town by competing with his friend Grushnitsky over the affections of the young princess Mary.

As the game grows crueller and more calculating, intimate thoughts are laid unflinchingly bare.

Welcome into the mind of a soldier, where bars and ballrooms become battlefields.


Oliver Bennett - Pechorin

Scarlett Saunders - Vera and Princess Mary

James Marlowe - Grushnitsky


Author: Mikhail Lermontov, adapted by Oliver Bennett and Vladimir Shcherban
Director: Vladimir Shcherban
Production: HUNCHtheatre


Arcola Theatre
24 Ashwin Street
E8 3DL


From: Monday 19 November 2018

Closes: Saturday 15 December 2018


Previews: £20, £16, £15

Standard: £22

Concessions: £20

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