For the first time in over a decade, the acclaimed European ensemble Maly Drama Theatre of St. Petersburg will return to the West End in May, performing a limited season of two plays.
Described by Peter Brook as “the finest ensemble theatre in Europe”, the renowned company will present the UK stage premiere of Vasily Grossman’s epic novel Life And Fate and a reprisal of their celebrated production of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya.
Both productions will play at Theatre Royal Haymarket for various dates between 8 – 20 May, performed in Russian with English surtitles.
During the 35 year artistic directorship of Lev Dodin – one of the most celebrated theatre practitioners working today – the Maly Drama Theatre of St. Petersburg has won international awards including Golden Mask Awards and a Laurence Olivier Award (becoming the first international company to do so for Stars In The Morning Sky in 1989). In 2000 Dodin received the European Theatre Award.
Broadly considered Grossman’s magnum opus, Life And Fate, which was banned in its home country because of the parallels it drew between Nazism and Soviet Communism, is an epic tale centred on a single Jewish family. The production won the Golden Mask for Best Play upon its premiere in 2007 and has toured the world ever since.
In a sweeping panorama of Soviety Society, from Nazi concentration camps to the Gulags of Siberia and the Soviet nuclear programme, and with the battle of Stalingrad looming large, the characters of Life And Fate are forced to devise their destinies in a world torn by ideological tyranny and war.
Playing concurrently, Uncle Vanya is Chekhov’s tragicomic masterpiece of dashed dreams and thwarted love. Vanya, together with his niece Sonya, has sacrificed his life managing the estate of Professor Serebryakov, his former brother-in-law and Sonya’s father. But when the Professor returns from the city with his glamorous young wife Yelena, tensions spiral as their world is thrown upside down.
The season is presented by Oliver King and Ekaterina Kashyntseva for Belka Productions, with the support of Roman Abramovich, Sir Leonard Blavatnik , Yuri Shefler & Alexander Machkevitch.