2018 was an amazing year for the events related to Russian art and culture all over the world. And RA+C took an active role in bringing all the details, announcements, interviews, reviews and opinions to our readers. Let’s look back and reflect on some of the best theatre performances.
Sun Line. Sadler’s Wells Theatre. December 2018
In December Ivan Vyrypaev’s much talked about play Sun Line which was nominated for 5 Golden Mask awards was staged in London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre directed by Viktor Ryzhakov, the artistic director of Moscow’s Meyerhold Centre.
RA+C talked to Ivan about his career, views on contemporary theatre and dreams. Read here.
Red. Wyndham’s Theatre. July 2018
John Logan’s play Red about abstract expressionist Mark Rothko staged by Michael Grandage surpassed our expectations.On the face of it, it Is a relatively short production (just over an hour, no interval) with only two actors debating about art in an austere paint-spattered studio. However, it compensates for austerity with its emotional and intellectual intensity.
Uncle Vanya. Royal Haymarket Theatre. May 2018.
Uncle Vanya is, perhaps, one of the most hopeless plays by Anton Chekhov. Talking about unfulfilled dreams and unrealised loves, it makes one recall their personal regrets and failures. However, this adaptation by the Maly Drama Theatre directed by Lev Dodin was surprisingly light, seemingly effortless, and inspiring. The show was staged at the Royal Haymarket Theatre and promoted by Belka productions.
Life & Fate. Royal Haymarket Theatre. May 2018
Vasily Grossman is perhaps the greatest Russian author the West never hears about. A Ukrainian Jew, Grossman lived through darkest decades of the Soviet Union. Leaving behind his training as a chemical engineer, he threw himself into the midst of the Second World Waras a war correspondent for the State newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda. Not only did he report the battles of Stalingrad, Kursk and Berlin, but he also wrote the first accounts of the Nazi concentration camps. Internationally acclaimed theatre director Lev Dodin and the legendary Maly Drama Theatre of St. Petersburg, deemed ‘the finest ensemble theatre in Europe’, brough Grossman’s classic novel of love and war to the London stage for its UK premiere.
Three Sister. Arrows&Traps Theatre. April 2018.
To Moscow, to Moscow…’ The renowned lament in Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters still manages to conjure up some of the most fundamental issues that plague our quotidian lives today. Ross McGregor’s new version of this great classic evoked the Chekhovian existential essence that troubled the Prozorov sisters: Irina, Masha, and Olga respectively. But, it’s not all too dreary, however, as the Arrow & Traps’ interpretation generated a wonderful snapshot of life in provincial Russia in a time gone by.