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Just before it started Richard said "Its 1 hr 45 minutes, what if I need the toilet?". He needn't have worried...

This was the brutal Belarus Free Theater in a punishing performance that pushed our little theatre club to the limit. Its not ever night you see a naked man in a bike helmet chase round an eventually rip the clothes of another actor. The three acts portrayed three different perspectives on protest in state where freedom of expression is sometimes brutally oppressed and the play certainly reflected this. The performances crossed expressive sequences with narrative acted parts, woven together with projected sequences and all in Russian with subtitles. It was as impressive as it was exhausting. Loud and violent, some of the singing was criminal and the final act of defiance will stay with me for a long time. At least the image of the actors paddling through the puddles to take their applause will!
Great pizza at pizza pilgrim beforehand. Nic W's choice next... follow that!


Wowzers. This had it all. This was the second really bleak, depressing play in a row - I think we need something jolly and upbeat next time...
Think Nick chose this as he thought there was a Pussycat doll in it but it turned out it wasn't Nicole Scherzinger it was someone from Pussy Riot.
The performance, as it wasn't really a play, was captivating and, at times, really difficult to watch. Lots of Russians and Belarussians in the audience I think - they probably found the surtitles and cultural references easier to follow than we did. I left with a really depressing feeling of how freedom of speech and expression have been restricted in Russia and what a brutal, all-consuming regime they have there. At least the mood was lifted by the final scene and Nic's uncontrollable giggles as the poor activists were trying to get us to sign their petition at the end.

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