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New Russian Drama: an interview with Graham Schmidt, an American theatre director

AK: How would you define New Russian Drama in a single word?

GS: Fresh. I know that this term does not describe a specific theme or style, but as far as I can tell, there was no single theme or group of themes or unifying style that holds these plays together. New Russian Drama was, however, fresh relative to the plays that were being staged at the time.

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Walpurgis Night by Venedikt Erofeev – a little-known Soviet play in a new translation

This is a play of satisfying contradictions: a funny Tragedy on the subject of punitive psychiatry in a style which combines plausible realism with literary flourish, writes Noah Birksted-Breen.

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Remember, remember… the first of July 2014…

The 1st of July 2014 seems to represent a sea change. It is hard to see it as anything else but a point of no return. A new law will come into force which bans swearing in films, TV, literature and in the theatre. This is a law censoring the arts – it is the first of its kind since 1991.

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The most innovative Russian theatre director at the World Shakespeare Festival 2012

Dmitry Krymov’s production of Midsummer Night’s Dream in Stratford-upon-Avon and Edinburgh this August – highly recommended! Dmitry Krymov is one of the most innovative directors to emerge in Moscow in the last decade. He began as a stage designer in the mid-1970s, often creating sets for his father, the great director Anatoly Efros. From the […]

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Life after the presidential elections for Russia’s new writing theatres

A blog by Noah Birksted-Breen “I’ve just got back from Russia, supported by a StepBeyond grant from the European Cultural Foundation – where I met with Elena Gremina, who many consider to be Russia’s foremost political playwright, most famous for her play One Hour Eighteen Minutes, a landmark documentary play about the death of whistle-blowing […]

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  • About Us

    Sputnik is a British theatre company dedicated to sourcing, translating and producing new Russian drama for British audiences.

    There are several strands to Sputnik's work including:
    - producing new Russian plays in the UK
    - programming and organising the Russian Theatre Festival in London
    - developing Russian playwriting through commissions and exchanges
    - outreach work bringing drama to disadvantaged young people
    - cultural events with Russian literature and music

    Why Russia?
    Russia has a history of theatrical innovation. Russian playwrights have played a significant role in shaping modern European theatre.

    Contemporary playwriting in Russia has been going through an important and innovative period since 1991 with a prolific output by predominantly young dramatists.

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