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Living up to their reputation, the 19-strong cast of the Steam Industry turn winter in St Petersburg into a Neapolitan soup. For the oxygen- starved audience, penned on benches around three sides of the tiny theatre, it is a sauna of bad breath, screaming babies and boiling tempers.

If they peel off the hysteria and refrigerate the auditorium, the Steam Industry may yet be flogging a winner.

James Christopher, The Times, Thursday September 3 1998

A gutsy piece, enjoyable for its rich central characters, intelligent performances and delightfully murky lighting.

Cameron Robertson, The Stage, September 10 1998

The Steam Industry is well known for its ambitious, innovative productions, and this revival of Rodney Ackland's 1946 dramatisation of Dostolevsky's novel is well suited to the company's vibrant approach.

The Finborough has been completely re-configured into a claustrophobic u- shaped auditorium which takes us right into a poky, communal landing in Raskolnikoff's lodging house. The best moments are the rough and tumble crowd scenes, the stage alive with drinking, gambling and arguing.

Douglas McPherson


A production of Crime and Punishment by 16 actors at the tiny Finborough in west London sounds like another example of a company with ideas above its venue. But the members of Steam Industry have come up trumps.

Dominic Cavendish

The Steam Industry starts a season called "Discipline" - plays exploring criminals and ideas of justice - with Rodney Ackland's classic 1946 adaptation of Dostoyevsky's dark epic, which has not been staged in over 50 years. Director Phil Willmott conjures up a St Petersburg fraught with tension, as police track down a killer and people puzzle over the ability of one man to kill another.

Tim Lusher, Evening Standard, Tuesday 1 September 1998

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