Featuring the company’s Russian ensemble, Cheek by Jowl’s piercing new production delves into the depths of an unpredictable city to dissect the nature of government, love and justice.
A ruler who doesn’t know how to rule, a bureaucrat seduced by his newfound position and a novice nun faced with an appalling dilemma. In this chaotic world, where prisons, convents and brothels are policed by a corrupt regime, only conflict and self-interest prevail.
Shakespeare’s brew of laughter and high seriousness asks questions about the relationship between ordinary citizens and those in power. Declan Donnellan draws out their topicality with his taut modern-dress update, matching Russian theatre traditions with swiftly changing scenes played out in vivid abstract settings.
Barbican Artistic Associate Cheek by Jowl brings its Russian company to our stage for the fifth time in a performance hailed by the Moscow press as breathtaking, and subsequently nominated for five Golden Mask Awards, including Best Director and Best Male Performance.
‘A shattering portrait of contemporary Russia’Novaya Gazeta (Russia)
Directed by Declan Donnellan Design by Nick Ormerod
1 hour 45 mins/no interval Age guidance 16+ Performed in Russian with English surtitles
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