Russian Theatre Festival in London

Between the 1st and 4th of February London will welcome the Festival of Russian and Russian-language plays.  Each play, produced by Sputnik Theatre Company, will begin at 7.30pm at the Soho Theatre in London.  This festival will be the first annual Russian Theatre Festival in the UK, presenting four British premieres by emerging Russian-language playwrights in English.

Dreams by Natalya Kolyada (1 February 2010) is a fictionalised account of real testimonies from Belarus. Maria, Anna, Olga and Elena didn’t know each other until their boyfriends and husbands had a run-in with the state. For the four women to speak out is dangerous – but to stay silent is impossible.  Kolyada is a co-founder of Free Theatre, an underground theatre company in Belarus whose Patrons are Vaclav Havel and Tom Stoppard.

Tityus The Irreproachable by Maksim Kurochkin (2 February 2010) is a futuristic political satire. The Administrator-Killer of United Mankind is in trouble.  The terrorists have gone into hiding. The Administrator-Killer discovers that clues have been hidden in contemporary Russian playwriting. But what he and his Captain find is not what they were expecting.  Tityus won Moscow’s prestigious New Drama Award 2008.


Mums by Vladimir Zuev (3 February 2010) is a detailed and moving portrait based on real testimonies of Russia’s taboo subject – Chechnya. Vera, Rosa, Oldest and Youngest live in a basement of a dilapidated building in central Grozny. They didn’t want to come but they refuse to leave until they’ve found their sons. Zuev won the Eurasia Award 2007 for Mums.

Natasha’s Dreams by Yaroslava Pulinovich (4 February 2010) is a dramatic monologue about the fate of orphans in modern-day Russia. Natasha almost dies when she jumps out of a window in the orphanage – for a dare. But as she falls, she realises that she’s always dreamed of love. When she wakes up in hospital, a local journalist comes to interview her, and she wonders if this might be the beginning of a new life. Pulinovich’s Beyond The Track was presented at the RSC’s Russian Season in September 2009.

The festival will also feature free post-show discussions by specialist speakers following each performance (see listings below), a photography exhibition in the foyer by photographers from the region and a literature stand with contemporary Russian literature.

The Festival is a pilot project that aims to bring full productions of New Russian drama from Britain, America, Australia, Russia and France in the coming years.

1 February 2010: Dreams by Natalya Kolyada
2 February 2010: Tityus The Irreproachable by Maksim Kurochkin
3 February 2010: Mums by Vladimir Zuev
4 February 2010: Natasha’s Dreams by Yaroslava Pulinovich
All plays are translated and directed as rehearsed readings by Noah Birksted-Breen.
For more information visit

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