Competition for University of Bristol students

In January 2024, Sputnik was invited by Professor Andreas Schönle (University of Bristol) to support the final year Russian Studies assessments. This collaboration was based on Sputnik’s work staging dissident Russian playwriting over almost two decades.

‘A celebration of the impossible’, a review of the Baltic Circle theatre festival

“For the last seven years, before the war, I made socially engaged art in Russia. We built utopias, an alternative space of freedom and equality in conditions of Putin’s thickening authoritarianism. The war showed that art won’t stop people who have access to the red button. The experience of Yellowcake allowed me to understand that there are too few utopias today. Art has the power and instruments to become a real facilitator between civil society and powerful institutions in the battle for a fairer future. As a minimum, it can give the experience of revealing oneself as an actor in history, and the desire to make that experience last.” 

Belarus Free Theatre at the Barbican – a performance review

Commissioned by the academic journal Cultural Geographies in Practice, Sputnik’s artistic director wrote a performance review about Belarus Free Theatre’s Dogs of Europe (2022) at the Barbican. ‘On 12 March 2022, I attended Dogs of Europe, a performance by Belarus Free Theatre (BFT) at London’s Barbican Theatre. Adapted from the novel by Belarusian writer Alhierd […]

Interview with Finnish theatre artist, Elli Salo

Thinking with the body Elli Salo is an artist with many strings to her bow. Playwright, writer, author of radio plays, translator, teacher. In recent years, you would be just as likely to hear her plays in Finnish and international theatres as you would be to hear them in libraries, museums and on the radio […]

Sputnik film wins special jury award at Kinosarai film festival in Ukraine

The Ukrainian film commissioned by Sputnik – Andrii Bondarenko’s Peace and Tranquility – has won a special jury award at the Kinosarai Film Festival

Coming soon… FAM! An original hip-hop drama

This year Sputnik Theatre Company – in collaboration with Slanguages (Birmingham City University) and Creative Multilingualism (University of Oxford) – launches an original hip-hop drama, FAM, as an online film, exploring notions of black British identity, urban music and racial injustice. In this blog, I explain how this project was conceived – and how we […]

Sheffield DocFest – major UK film festival to screen Peace and Tranquility

We are delighted to announce that Andriy Bondarenko‘s “Peace and Tranquility” (trans. John Farndon) was invited for screening at the Sheffield DocFest on 23 and 26 June 2022. The screenings will be followed by a discussion with the film’s director Myro Klochko who attends in person. Commissioned by Sputnik Theatre Company.  

London screening of Andrii Bondarenko’s Peace and Tranquillity at the Institute of Contemporary Art

We are delighted to announce that Peace and Tranquillity by Andriy Bondarenko, translated by John Farndon, directed by Myro Klochko, commissioned/produced by Sputnik has a London screening at London’s Institute of Contemporary Art – on 27 April 2022.

The Stanislavsky Electrotheatre – an interview, 6 May 2020

Interview about the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre (Moscow) with John Freedman, interview by Noah Birksted-Breen, as part of the International Online Theatre Festival.

Slow Sword by Yuri Klavdiev in Russian theatre history

In 2014, the state-run journal, Kultura, named 20 plays which it very embodiment of ‘sleaze, obscenities, pornography, and worthless shamanism disguised as innovation’. In other words, it was a blatant attack on cultural innovators, playwrights, artists who dissent from the dominant state ideology. The play which heads the list as the most offensive play is […]

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

  • 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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