Royal Court holds Pussy Riot solidarity event, Fringe flyerers join the causeDate: 14 August 2012
The Royal Court has announced plans to participate in a global day of protest in solidarity with Moscow-based punk band Pussy Riot. Meanwhile, Amnesty international are rallying Edinburgh Fringe performers to join the cause.
Three members of Pussy Riot are currently standing trial in Russia on charges of hooliganism after they performed an impromptu protest concert against Russian President Vladimir Putin at a Moscow cathedral.
The trial has been widely derided as an example of Soviet-style state censorship and oppression.
They have received messages of support from many high-profile members of the music community, including Jarvis Cocker, Madonna, Bjork and Kate Nash.
The Royal Court plans to perform rehearsed readings of the testimonies of the accused women, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich, at 11am, 17 August 2012, approximately an hour before the final verdict will be delivered.
Dominic Cooke, the theatre's artistic director, said "The Pussy Riot trial is of concern to those who believe that the right of artists to question the actions of the state is central to an egalitarian society.
"As a London home for theatre artists to ask challenging questions, the Royal Court feels like the obvious place for the women's words to be heard in English."
Royal Court playwright E.V Crowe, whose play Hero opens at the Royal Court on 23 November proposed the event, and will give a short introduction.
She said "Watching their activism on youtube and hearing their courtroom statements, I felt inspired in a way no other cultural movement in my lifetime has captured my imagination or responded to my perception of women's place in the cultural and political landscape."
Pussy Riot: Final Verdict will take place in the Royal Court café bar at 11am on Friday 17 August. The event is free and non-ticketed.
Meanwhile Amnesty International is organising a "flash mob" event in Edinburgh today (14 August) at 5pm, in which performers distributing flyers for fringe shows on the Royal Mile will be encouraged to wear Pussy Riot-style balaclavas and promote Amnesty's Stand Up For Freedom comedy night tomorrow evening instead.
- by Nicole Samkange and Kieran Corcoran