Staged Readings & Discussion: Power, Politics & Performance in Russia
Each evening will feature a topical new Russian play translated into English by Sputnik’s artistic director, Noah Birksted-Breen, and presented by a British theatre director and cast. The post-show talks will touch upon various aspects of life in Russia covering an array of issues, from the clampdown on theatre and freedom of speech to growing social tensions and immigration.
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The play Doctor is one of the longest running productions of Teatr.doc, the famous studio theatre in Moscow which was supported by Tom Stoppard amongst other prominent British voices when facing closure in 2014. The staged reading will be followed by a discussion with artistic director of Teatr.doc, Elena Gremina, in conversation with senior international correspondent for The Guardian, Luke Harding.
Zhanna is a play not only about love but also the ruthless business practices borne of 1990s opportunistic Russia and its gangster capitalism. Following the staged reading, the members’ clubroom will open its doors to all attendees in celebration of theatre week.
The play Grandchildren. The Second Act is based on interviews taken by the playwrights over the last couple of years, the protagonists’ grandparents were from Stalin’s inner circle – or members of the Soviet Communist Party or NKVD – and their testimonies bear witness to the very human desire to forgive those we love, even when we know their worst crimes. The staged reading will be followed by a panel discussion chaired by Gabriel Gatehouse, BBC foreign correspondent who has extensively covered the Ukrainian – Russian crisis.
The War Hasn’t Yet Started is a poignant play that depicts the dehumanising effects of living in a society on the brink of all-out war. The staged reading will be followed by a Q&A with artistic director of Sputnik theatre, Noah Birksted-Breen, and the artistic director of Theatre Royal Plymouth, Simon Stokes in conversation with Lucy Ash, an award winning presenter of foreign affairs documentaries at the BBC.