Russia, 1921: a small town on the River Potudan.
Nikita Firsov returns from the civil war to find that combat has changed him and his hometown alike. One thing, however, seems to have stayed the same: Lyuba, the strong-willed girl he remembers from his childhood.
As Lyuba and Nikita try to build a future together, they must pick their way through the unexploded ordnance and the ghosts of the lost to find tenderness in a desolate world.
Bliss is a tale of the shame of war, the potential of love, and the strength of the human spirit, based on a 1939 short story by the brilliant but little-known writer Andrey Platonov. Stalin hated Platonov – labelling him ‘scum’ – for portraying the truth of human experience under an authoritarian regime.
After a lifetime of censorship, Platonov’s work is now brought to a contemporary audience. This adaptation by award-winning playwright Fraser Grace (Breakfast with Mugabe; Royal Shakespeare Company / West End / Off-Broadway), finds intimate resonance in its portrayal of ordinary people searching for their elusive ‘bliss’ in the midst of catastrophe.
The matinee performance on Sunday, 5 June will be Enhanced by Extant. This means there will be live accessible programme notes and a touch tour describing the set, props and characters before the performance starts for visually impaired audiences. Please email email@example.com if you would like to attend the touch tour and programme notes, which will begin at 1pm.
On Thursday, 26 May there will be a post-show talk, after the performance of Bliss, which will take place in the theatre auditorium. Join playwright Fraser Grace and Philip Ross Bullock, Professor of Russian Literature and Music at the University of Oxford, as they discuss Platonov’s work and how he has inspired other writers in his own time and ours. Invitation to this event is included with the cost of your ticket.
Approximately two hours and thirty minutes with one interval of fifteen minutes