News

4 June 2018: a reading of Natalia Vorozhbit’s play about the war in Ukraine

At 6pm-7.30pm on 4th of June 2018, Sputnik will present a reading of Ukrainian-speaking Elephants by Natalia Vorozhbit (Ukraine), translated by Sasha Dugdale, at UCL’s Festival of Culture in London, the first presentation of this play in England. The cast is: Sophia Kayes, James Robinson, Géhane Strehler. Directed by: Noah Birksted-Breen. The reading will take […]

‘Lessons learnt’ by a professional translator – adapting the same play three times over three years

By Noah Birksted-Breen. This article was originally published on the Creative Multilingualism website. I have just finished translating Mikhail Durnenkov’s The War Hasn’t Yet Started for the third time in as many years. I’m in an unusual situation – one translator creating three different versions of the same play. As far as I know, that […]

Interview With Noah Birksted-Breen: Falling In Love With New Russian Plays

The Theatre Times Interview with Noah Birksted-Breen

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.

Interview with Nina Belenitskaya and Evgeny Kazachkov

An interview about the project at Theatre 503 – original article by going to this link. Reproduced (unformatted) below. Theatre louder than politics Is it Getting Cold in Here…?, a selection of plays on contemporary Russia, currently runs at Theatre503. The Kompass spoke to Nina Belenitskaya and Evgeny Kazachkov, the two Russian playwrights part of […]

Article about Sputnik’s work

The Spanish edition of Russia Beyond The Headlines interviewed Noah Birksted-Breen in May 2014.

Discussion on contemporary playwriting with speakers from the National Theatre, Royal Court and Soho Theatre – 21st of May 2014

Sputnik’s artistic director, Noah Birksted-Breen, has organised a panel discussion at Queen Mary University, as part of QUORUM, a bi-weekly public seminar for academics, PhD students and theatre practitioners. The title is: ‘Changes in the landscape of contemporary playwriting: 2000-2014’. Confirmed speakers are: Sebastian Born, Associate Director (Literary), National Theatre Chris Campbell, Literary Manager, Royal […]

The Kompass article on new Russian plays and Sputnik

“The Sputnik Theatre Company also offers a glimmer of hope. If the taste for Russian theatre in Britain is going to get out of its 19th-century rut, it may well start here.” To read the full article – click here.

Tom Stoppard on One Hour Eighteen Minutes

‘We must refuse to forget the case of Sergei Magnitsky. Congratulations to the [Sputnik theatre] company…’ Sir Tom Stoppard video here

Interview with Noah Birksted-Breen on BBC Russian Service

One Hour Eighteen Minutes

One Hour Eighteen Minutes as seen by Russia Beyond the Headlines

12 Nov 2012 “A new play about Magnitsky opens in London, three years after the lawyer’s controversial death. Extracts of original diaries and letters are used to help re-enact what happened to Magnitsky in detention in this powerful stage drama.” “The strongest parts of this compelling drama include actual quotations from the records the lawyer […]

One Hour Eighteen Minutes – post show discussion with William Browder

20 Nov 2012, at New Diorama Theatre Post show discussion with William Browder to be chaired by a VIP whose name will only be given on the night Bill Browder – Chief Executive and co-founder of Hermitage Capital Management, the company that hired Sergei Magnitsky to investigate the tax refund fraud set up by Russian […]

A British actor’s view of theater training in Russia

Christopher Hancock is a graduate of Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Chris volunteered with Sputnik in 2010, supporting us in our realisation of the 1st Russian Theatre Festival. We asked him for some reflections on his time training in Russia, compared to his training in the UK: Ask any British drama student to sign up […]

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 […]

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 […]

We Are Becoming More Simple

One of the most renown Russian playwrights on his play “Tityus the Irreproachable”

Theatres Are Scared of Experimenting

Yaroslava Pulinovich’s view on Russian theatre

Modern Drama in Belarus

Interview with Natalia Kolyada, “Free Theatre”, Belarus

One Hour Eighteen Minutes

Review on Sputnik’s new work – One Hour Eighteen Minutes by ELena Gremina –
a documentary play which pieces together the final hours of Sergey Magnitsky, a corporate lawyer who sued the Russian government for one of the most blatant cases of tax fraud in Russian history.

Magic of Russian theatre

Vladimir Zuev talks about the current state of Russian drama, his plays and the ways to bring Russian theatre to UK.

“..There are a lot of budding playwrights around nowadays. As a result the standard of plays put on at the competitions and festivals varies greatly.”

  • 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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