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One of the most famous classical theaters in the world, the Royal Shakespeare Theater (controlled by the Royal Shakespeare Company) is preparing to stage a series of specially prepared plays about Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union. The theater troupe thus expects to attract the investment of foreign billionaires.
The theater, which recently hit the headlines, taking the star of the Doctor Who television series David Tennant as Hamlet, plans to present a series of plays about Russia in Shakespeare’s homeland in Stratford-upon-Avon next year.
The theater’s artistic director, Michael Boyd, who studied at the beginning of his career in Moscow and was the director of the Malaya Bronnaya Theater, admits in an interview with the British newspaper Independent: he wants Russian money to come to the theater, which has already helped revive art. Over the past couple of years, London auction houses have witnessed a sudden influx of wealthy buyers from Russia. At the beginning of the month, for example, Roman Abramovich’s friend Dasha Zhukova opened the Garage, a contemporary art gallery in Moscow, and helped organize a summer party in the Serpentine Gallery.
According to Boyd, as part of a theater project about Russia, which was conceived three years ago, it is planned to show how the Russian theater tradition “competes with the British.” Boyd himself intends to direct one of the performances.
“We are starting the project“ Another Russia ”- a study of Russia and the countries of the former USSR with the involvement of the great Russian theater tradition and the works of the brightest contemporary writers of Eastern Europe. I look forward to the opportunity to put the play“ Granary ”on the main stage of the Courtyard theater,” says Boyd . “Now Russia is experiencing an important moment in its history, as it is trying to become part of the capitalist West. It is the main energy supplier for the rest of Europe. Now it is interesting to observe whether there will be a new attack on democracy, a new cold war, whether freedom will be suppressed again, – continues the art director of the theater. According to him, “Russia is now going through a dramatic period of crisis.”
The settings of the project “Other Russia”
The first two plays within the framework of the project will be staged in September 2009 – these are the “Blue” by Mikhail and Vyacheslav Durnenkov about the soldier who returned home from Chechnya and the “Granary” of Ukrainian Natalia Vorozhbit about the famine of the 1930s. in Ukraine.
In 2011, the Russian seasons will continue with Rona Munro’s Orlyats play about the space race between the USSR and the USA and Silence about the disappointment of a British journalist in Moscow. Then, Pushkin’s productions of Boris Godunov, as well as plays by Gogol and Chekhov, are also expected.