facebook play-alt chevron-thin-right chevron-thin-left cancel location info chevron-thin-down star-full help-with-circle calendar images mail whatsapp directions_car directions_bike train directions_walk directions_bus close spinner11
Are you missing theatre as much as we are? Support us now with Theatre Tokens and see your favourite shows when they reopen. #IMissTheatre

Minsk 2011 A Reply To Kathy Acker

First Published 18 June 2012, Last Updated 19 June 2012

Belarus Free Theatre is offering audiences the chance to take a tour through Minsk in its new show at the Young Vic and, as proved very literally on press night, it’s not a tour that some Belarusians would want seen.

The curtain call protest by one man as the rest of the audience cheered the courageous theatre company’s work seemed to cement everything that had come in the 90 minutes beforehand. In a series of episodic scenes, linked only by the subject matter and not by any storyline as such, the group of performers showed protests and personal beliefs silenced one by one by various violent and oppressive means.

Based on true events and stories, Minsk 2011 A Reply To Kathy Acker centres mainly on the capital’s view of sexuality and asexuality. As one performer says, if women think scars are sexy, then Minsk is the sexiest city in the world, before proceeding to mark in red highlighter the scars he received at the hands of the authorities while in custody.

The production moves through personal relationships to clubs and banned gay pride marches, dealing explicitly with the subject and the violence that often ensues. The hypocrisy of the government is shown in one powerful scene that sees a government official condemn pornography and indecency before signing licensing papers to a lap dancing club following a very personal lap dance.

A completely devised piece, the production uses videos and minimal props creatively to create an in your face, affecting, intense experience. Uniformed costumes match the often uniformed movement which varies from tightly planned choreography performed with military precision to more chaotic avant-garde performances. One emotionally charged routine shows prostitutes forced to sweep snow from the streets in a quietly poignant scene.

Minsk 2011 is like a love letter written in an abusive relationship. It’s shocking, but shows, perhaps most interestingly of all, the way people are pulled back in, time and time again; the final scene showing a group of people returning to a city that they describe as sucking all the energy out of them but that they cannot get out of their systems.


Sign up

Related articles

If you click through to seat selection (where you'll see either best available or a seating plan), you will be seeing the most up-to-date prices. If this differs from what we've written on the calendar, please bear with us, as those prices will update soon.

We now sell our famous TKTS Booth discounts online here at Official London Theatre.

We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.

Theatres are currently closed until 3 August. Some shows have cancelled or rescheduled performances beyond this date, please check with individual shows for details.