Press Reviews

About the company

Far-sighted English company Sputnik Theatre Metro

The play, originally commissioned by the RSC, gets its world premiere from SputnikTime Out

Produced with genuine passion. Sputnik Theatre should be proud.The Guardian


 Sputnik’s artistic programme

Hilarious and startlingThe Stage (on The War Hasn’t Yet Started, 2016)

This verbatim play … burns bright.The Telegraph (on One Hour Eighteen Minutes, 2012)

This strange, unsettling play is part dream, part nightmare and wholly intriguing.The Guardian (on Slow Sword, 2006)

This is a poetic, allegorical but also lucid dispatch from a country in crisis.Metro (on Techniques of Breathing in an Airlocked Space, 2006)


Sputnik’s productions

Some lovely theatrical moments in both writing and direction… There’s an overall confidence and polish to the production.Exeunt (on One Hour Eighteen Minutes, 2012)

Noah Birksted-Breen’s production has a beautiful economy… the best bits are real itch-in-your-brain stuff.The Guardian (on Slow Sword, 2006)

Noah Birksted-Breen’s staging is unflaggingly inventive.Time Out (on Techniques of Breathing in an Airlocked Space, 2006)

Director Noah Birksted-Breen brings these vignettes together with remarkable fluency and sass.Metro (on Techniques of Breathing in an Airlocked Space, 2006)

Noah Birksted-Breen’s Sputnik Theatre production bubbles with ideas.The Times (on Russian National Mail, 2005)

Time Out Christmas edition: Theatre Round Up of The Best of 2007:

Tipped for the top: Noah Birksted-Breen, director and translator of Sputnik Theatre”.


The performances

… movingly portrayed by Wendy Nottingham.Russia Beyond The Headlines (on One Hour Eighteen Minutes, 2012)

Excellent performances.Time Out (on Slow Sword, 2006)

Finely-tuned performances… an electrifying monologue on Russia’s incipient implosion.Time Out (on Techniques of Breathing in an Airlocked Space, 2006)

Kevin McMonagle is an appealing and affecting Ivan.The Times (on Russian National Mail, 2005)

Kevin McMonagle gives a convincing, tragicomic performance as Ivan.The Independent (on Russian National Mail, 2005)

Kevin McMonagle as the hero suggests both the sadness and the occasional ecstasy of the epistolary life.The Guardian (on Russian National Mail, 2005)


The translations

Birksted-Breen’s translation nicely balances bitterness and wit.The Times (on Techniques of Breathing in an Airlocked Space, 2006)

For which much credit must go to Noah Birksted-Breen, the translator … The script remains intimately rooted in its context without losing any of its urgency and impact.Time Out (on Techniques of Breathing in an Airlocked Space, 2006)

As translator, Noah Birksted-Breen makes a profoundly Russian play accessible to a western audience.The Guardian (on Russian National Mail, 2005)

Noah Birksted-Breen, the translator, retains this very Russian spirit while at the same time rendering the piece accessible to a British audience with his fresh, unstilted translation.The Independent (on Russian National Mail, 2005)


  • 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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