Theatre Preview: The Massive Tragedy of Madame Bovary! @ Bristol Old Vic

by Abi Hack



The Massive Tragedy of Madame Bovary! is a co-production between Peepolykus, Bristol Old Vic, Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse, Nuffield, Southampton and Royal & Derngate, Northampton.


Taking its direction from Everyman & Playhouse Artistic Director, Gemma Bodinetz, the traditional tale has been ‘lovingly derailed’ by John Nicholson and Javier Marzan (of Peepolykus), and promises to be an absurd take on Gustave Flaubert’s seminal Nineteenth Century novel.


Alongside double Olivier award-winning Emma Fielding, who is playing the title role Emma Bovary, the cast includes John Nicholson, Javier Marzan, and Jonathan Holmes who will attempt to tackle the remaining roles in Flaubert’s epic tale.


Bodinetz commented,

My first encounter with Peepolykus was many years ago at Bristol Old Vic Studio. I was immediately won over by their verbal and physical ingenuity and have remained a fan and sometime collaborator ever since. There have been many versions of this great novel but I think it is safe to say that none will have been more faithful to the original, nor less like it. We’re extremely lucky as regional theatres to be able to collaborate so closely and therefore create new work on this scale. As is so often the case, we are stronger when we work together and it’s a joy and an honour to be co-producing with Bristol Old Vic again, in this special anniversary year.”

★★★★★ “For those who like witty, well-structured writing, dazzling physical theatre, clever set and lighting, and remarkable comic timing, it is an evening well spent.” -- Downstage Centre


★★★★ “The Massive Tragedy of Madame Bovary! is a charming carousel of invention and idiocy with a serious story at its heart.” -- The Stage


★★★★ “a comic smash… it’s a treat from start to finish.” -- The Reviews Hub


“Belly laughs punctuate the show like machine-gun fire” -- The Times 

Adapted by John Nicholson & Javier Marzan

Directed by Gemma Bodinetz


Dates 26 Apr-7 May

Times 7.30pm, 2.30pm (Selected Thu & Sat mats)


Tickets £10-£30 (plus booking fee)


Age recommendation 14+

Running time 2 hrs 30 mins (with interval)


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