The Maly Drama Theatre of St Petersburg will return to the West End for the first time in over a decade in May.
The company will present two shows – Chekhov's Uncle Vanya and a stage adaptation of Vasily Grossman's Life and Fate – during the two-week engagement, which begins on 8 May at Theatre Royal Haymarket. The productions will be performed in Russian with English surtitles.
Grossman's Life and Fate, based on the writer's wartime experiences on the eastern front of the Second World War, was first published in 1980, after being smuggled out of the Soviet Union. The book is a sweeping tale of a single Jewish family, and covers experiences in Nazi concentration camps, Gulags in Siberia and the Battle of Stalingrad. At the time of writing, the Russian state deemed it unacceptable that Grossman would draw parallels between the Soviet Union and the Third Reich.
In 2007 the text was adapted by Maly Theatre and toured internationally, winning the Golden Mask Award for Best Play. It will now be making its UK premiere.
Maly Theatre was established in 1806, and has been run by artistic director Lev Dodin for the last 35 years. The company has collected a number of state prizes in Russia, as well as becoming the first international ensemble to win an Olivier Award in 1989 for Stars in the Morning Sky. In 2000 Dodin received the European Theatre Award.
Life and Fate and Uncle Vanya run in rep at Theatre Royal Haymarket from 8 to 20 May.
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