Directed by Lev Dodin
The legendary Maly Drama Theatre of St. Petersburg - described by Peter Brook as ‘the finest ensemble theatre in Europe’ - returned to London in May 2018 for a strictly limited engagement, for the first time in over a decade.
They presented the UK première of Vasily Grossman’s epic novel Life and Fate along with their celebrated production of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya.
Under the artistic directorship of Lev Dodin - one of the most celebrated theatre practitioners working today - the Maly Drama Theatre of St. Petersburg has become one of the greatest theatres in the world. During his 35 year tenure many of Dodin’s shows have won international awards including state prizes of Russia and the USSR, Golden Mask Awards and a Lawrence Olivier Award (becoming the first international company to do so for Stars in the Morning Sky, 1989). In 2000 he received the European Theatre Award.
Oliver King and Ekaterina Kashyntseva for Belka Productions were thrilled to produce the Season, managed by Wild Yak.
The Season ran for two weeks with total audiences numbering over 8,000 people.
LIFE AND FATE (UK PREMIÈRE)
It’s early 1943; Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia are in a bitter struggle for their very survival. Life and Fate is a sweeping panorama of Soviet Society, an epic tale of a country told through the fate of a single Jewish family, the Shtrums.
Vasily Grossman’s celebrated novel, adapted for the stage for the first time, was banned because of the parallels it drew between Nazism and Soviet Communism. From Nazi concentration camps to the Gulags of Siberia and the Soviet nuclear programme, the battle of Stalingrad looms large as the characters work out their destinies in a world torn by ideological tyranny and war.
This critically acclaimed production, winner of the Golden Mask for best play, has toured around the world to great acclaim since 2007.
Vanya, together with his niece Sonya, has sacrificed his life managing the estate of Professor Serebryakov, his former brother-in-law and Sonya’s father. But when the Professor returns from the city with his glamorous young wife Yelena, tensions spiral as their world is thrown upside down.
Chekhov’s tragicomic masterpiece of dashed dreams and thwarted and eternal love returns to the West End in Lev Dodin’s definitive interpretation of this classic play.
UNCENSORED: BANNED AND CENSORED PLAYS
Thursday 10 May 2018, Theatre Royal Haymarket
From Molière’s Tartuffe in 1664 to Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti’s Behtzi in 2004, governments and theatres alike have prevented the performance of play texts for political, social and cultural reasons. Directors and playwrights alike also frequently adapt banned and censored books for the stage – Lev Dodin’s adaptation of Vasily Grossman’s Life & Fate, being one such example.
Actors, including Simon Callow and Paul Anderson read excerpts from a selection of canonical plays, and books adapted for the stage, that have been banned and censored in a variety of countries and time periods. The evening was interspersed with live music and followed by a panel discussion. Panelists included free speech campaigner Jodie Ginsberg, theatre critic Michael Billington, director Lev Dodin, and playwright Christopher Hampton. This event was presented alongside the Maly Drama Season by Wild Yak's sister company, Belka Productions, in collaboration with JW3.
MALY DRAMA THEATRE'S
LIFE & FATE
Financial Times (Critics' Choice)
★★★★★ "Beautifully executed"
★★★★★ "The greatest ensemble"
★★★★★ "A masterclass"
★★★★★ "Gut wrenching"
★★★★★ "You won't see a better Vanya"
★★★★ "Extraordinarily powerful " The Independent
The Telegraph (Critics Choice)
★★★★ "Extraordinary ensemble"
★★★★ "A beautiful masterpiece"
★★★★ "Transcends frontiers"
Sunday Times (Critics' Choice)
★★★★ - Jewish Chronicle
"One of the world's most important directors" The Economist
(In order of appearance)
LIFE AND FATE
Anna Shtrum - Tatiana Shestakova
Viktor Shtrum, her son - Sergey Kuryshev
Liudmila, his wife - Elena Solomonova
Nadia, their daughter - Daria Rumyantseva
Genia, Liudmila’s sister - Elizaveta Boyarskaya
Abarchuk, Liudmila’s first husband -
Krymov - Alexey Zubarev
Monidze - Sergey Seregin
Barchatov - Igor Chernevich
Ugarov - Pavel Gryaznov
Pavlukov - Ivan Chepura
Guard - Oleg Gaianov
Shishakov - Alexander Koshkarev
Kovchenko - Igor Chernevich
Sevastianov - Oleg Ryazantsev
Sokolov - Stanislav Nikolskiy
Mostovskoy - Igor Ivanov (8, 9, 11, 12 May), Sergey Kozyrev (18, 19, 20 May)
Liss - Oleg Dmitriev
Ikonnikov - Oleg Ryazantsev
Ershov - Andrei Kondratiev
Osipov - Vladimir Zakharyev
Novikov - Sergey Vlasov
Getmanov - Alexander Koshkarev
Runner - Nikita Vasiliev
Vershkov - Nikita Sidorov
KGB officer - Artur Kozin
Driver - Oleg Gaianov
Professor Serebriakov - Igor Ivanov
Elena, his wife - Ksenia Rappoport
Sonia, his daughter from first marriage - Ekaterina Tarasova
M-me Voinitskaia - Natalia Akimova
Voinitskiy Ivan (Uncle Vanya), her son -
Doctor Astrov - Igor Chernevich
Telegin Ilia (Waffles), improverished gentry - Oleg Ryazantsev
Marina, old nurse - Vera Bikova
Servant - Ivan Chepura