Oxygen by Ivan Viripaev, trans. Sasha Dugdale

5.15pm-6.30pm Thursday 11 October 2018
Research & Development showing of Oxygen at Birmingham City University

Sputnik ran an R&D with UK rap and hip-hop artists Stanza Divan and Lady Sanity to adapt Ivan Vyrypaev’s Oxygen into a hip-hop play for UK audiences, based on the translation by Sasha Dugdale. It was presented in Birmingham on 11 October.

The government keeps sweeping everything under the carpet,
so we have to keep lifting up the carpet.
” Stanza Divan

That’s what brings out the rawness in UK hip-hop… We’re not seeking approval or waiting for anybody else to make us sound the way we want to sound. If we don’t have the tools or the access, we’ll find a way to make it happen regardless.” Lady Sanity

You can watch a video of the event by clicking this link.

Creative team

Playwright: Ivan Vyrypaev
Translator: Sasha Dugdale
Adaptors: Lady Sanity and Stanza Divan
Director: Noah Birksted-Breen
Curator: Professor Rajinder Dudrah


Creative Multilingualism (Oxford University) and Birmingham City University.

Creative Multilingualism is a research programme funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of its Open World Research Initiative.

The Sponsor

The adaptation of a Russian play into the genre of British hip-hop music was supported by the Institute for Literary Translation (Russia).

Sponsors (in-kind donations)

We would also like to thank the Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Punch Records (Birmingham) for their in-kind donations which played a crucial role in supporting this R&D:

Special thanks

Special thanks to Professor Rajinder Dudrah whose input and support has been essential to the evolution of this project and also to Dr. Daniel Tyler-Mctighe, who went out of his way to create the right conditions which enabled this collaboration to come to fruition.

  • 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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