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Directed by Konstantin Kamenski

(Rehearsed Reading) PUSHKIN HOUSE, LONDON 24 July 2019


It’s more complicated than love and hate - from Ivan the Terrible to contemporary Russian immigrants in London, Russians and Brits have created elaborate social and cultural images of one another that withstand the passage of time. In this double bill RUSSOPHILIA/RUSSOPHOBIA, renowned author Boris Akunin identifies pivotal instances when Russian or British nationals find themselves in the same room, forcing the parties to navigate cliches and stereotypes in real time. Historical characters become tangled with age-old caricatures in a dynamic exploration of the English narrative of the sometimes pretty, sometimes ugly Russians - as well as a glimpse at how English sensibilities might hold up under the Russian gaze.

Boris Akunin, celebrated for his historical tales of curious crimes and equally compelling detectives, brings an exquisite grasp of language and dialogue, in both English and Russian, to this hilarious original text. For the rehearsed reading on the 24th July the cast presented sixteen historical and fabulated episodes across two acts. This was followed by a Q&A with Boris Akunin and director Konstantin Kamenski. 


Cast: (Left to right) Madeleine Knight, Greg Kolpakchi, Letty Thomas, Andrew Byron, Elina Alminas, James Wallace, Alexander Mercury, Fabien Frankel

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