‘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 […]

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 […]

‘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 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 […]

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.

  • 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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