Our Writer in Residence Mark Ravenhill responded to Voltaire's novel in this new play, directed by Lyndsey Turner.

This play was part of our summer season at the Swan Theatre in 2013.

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The story of Candide

Candide is an optimist. A dreamer. He believes that everything is for the best in the best of all possible worlds. But that belief is about to be tested as Candide's comfortable life is overtaken by an endless barrage of misfortune. As his world collapses around him, the story travels across the centuries to new locations and parallel universes. How will Candide's optimism fare when it collides with life in the 21st century?

The play is structured around two parallel narratives: one tells the story of Candide's attempts to reunite with his love Cunegonde; the other follows a woman who experiences a hugely traumatic event as she attempts to find a way back to happiness.


Ellie Beaven - Abarian Soldier/Emma/Nurse
Ishia Bennison - Countess/Hannah
Susan Engel - Cunegonde
Richard Goulding - Playwright/Screenwriter
Kevin Harvey - Jacques/Bulgarian Soldier/Voltaire
John Hopkins - Bulgarian Officer/Tim
Harry McEntire - Prologue/Abarian Soldier/Ben/Tetuan
Matthew Needham - Candide
Ciarán Owens - Bulgarian Sergeant/Sailor/Adam
Ian Redford - Pangloss/Beggar/Abarian Soldier/Ted
Rose Reynolds - Young Cunegonde/Rosa/Abarian Soldier/The Girl/Padres
Steffan Rhodri - Baron/Abarian Soldier/Mike/Cacombo
Sarah Ridgeway - Bulgarian Soldier/Sophie/Tucamon
Katy Stephens - Baroness/Bulgarian Soldier/Sarah
Badria Timimi - The Woman/Bulgarian Soldier/Eva/Martina
Dwane Walcott - Candide (the actor)/Oreillon


Director - Lyndsey Turner 
Designer - Soutra Gilmour 
Lighting - Tim Lutkin 
Music - Michael Bruce 
Sound - Christopher Shutt 
Literary Manager - Pippa Hill
Movement - Scott Ambler
Fights - Bret Yount

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