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Digital Programme: King Stakh's Wild Hunt

A person wearing a grey veil stands on grass holding a miniature carousel while a group of people dressed in black and wearing haunting facemasks run forwards holding fire.

Find out more about the production and the creative team behind it in the digital programme.

Welcome to the Barbican Theatre for this production from the remarkable Belarus Free Theatre, the first show in our Autumn 2023 Season.

For 18 years, the company has used theatre to tell powerful stories in pursuit of democracy, human rights and artistic expression, including last year’s acclaimed Dogs of Europe, which premiered on our stage only a few weeks after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. For King Stakh’s Wild Hunt, Artistic Directors Natalia Kaliada and Nicolai Khalezin have adapted a novel that is rooted in Belarus’ history, yet which has blazing relevance to Europe today. Borrowing from folklore traditions from across the region, the show is an important warning against staying silent in the face of oppression.

Along with their breathtaking physical theatre style, there will be opera, live music and thrilling video design, performed by an extraordinary company, many of whom have been forced to flee their homelands due to war or dictatorship. It is the most ambitious artistic venture BFT has ever undertaken as well as a statement of solidarity, united in condemnation of the war and a call for freedom.

We are honoured to present the world premiere of this important production as a commissioning partner, to support the company in their fight to end the violence, remember those who have lost their lives, and to inspire hope for the future.

Toni Racklin
Barbican Head of Theatre & Dance


On behalf of everyone in Belarus Free Theatre we would like to extend the warmest welcome to you to our latest stage production, King Stakh’s Wild Hunt. To those joining us for the first time, to those who have followed us for many years – we are so happy to be with you once again.

We began working on the idea of bringing Uladzimir Karatkievich’s novel to the stage in 2022. The idea was inspired by Natalia’s father, Andreï Andreevich Kaliada, who had long talked about it as something we had to do, not just because it’s one of the greatest Belarusian novels of the last century, but because he deeply understood how relevant it was to Europe today.

The Wild Hunt is a motif that appears in Northern and Eastern European folklore. Karatkievich places it at the heart of a story that combines mysticism and reality, love and hatred, nobility and cowardice, history and modernity. The Wild Hunt reminds us that the past is not dead; good can only prevail when people unite to overthrow evil. As Andreï understood, its relevance is undeniable. The Wild Hunt runs here in Europe today, and we must do everything in our collective power to stop it in its tracks. We must stand together against war and oppression.

2022 was the year that Russia unleashed war on Ukraine. Today, more than 500 days on, tens of thousands of innocent people across Ukraine have lost their lives. 2022 was the year when the crippling occupation of Belarus by Russia really took hold – rafts of Belarusian historians, philosophers and writers were systematically removed from the school curriculum to completely erase the Belarusian identity. And 2022 was the year when Natalia’s father died unexpectedly. The authorities raced to his funeral threatening to arrest people, prohibiting us to place our white-red-white flag on his coffin and to deliver a service in the Belarusian language…. His death is painful for our family, but metaphorical for our nation. Alongside dedicating this world premiere to his memory, we dedicate it to all of the people who are unable to bury their loved ones as they would wish in their homelands due to dictatorship and war.

Natalia Kaliada and Nicolai Khalezin
Co-founding Artistic Directors of Belarus Free Theatre

About the company

Described by The New York Times as, “one of the bravest and most inspired underground troupes on the planet”, Belarus Free Theatre (BFT) is the only theatre in Europe banned by its government on political grounds

BFT was founded in 2005, creating, educating and performing theatre in Minsk in the context of Europe's last dictatorship, and forced to operate underground as one of the country’s leading resistance movements. In 2011, following years of intimidation, arrests and imprisonment for making theatre, its co-founding Artistic Directors, Natalia Kaliada and Nicolai Khalezin, were forced to leave Belarus and were granted political asylum in the UK. Soon after, BFT became an Associate Company at London’s Young Vic Theatre, under the Artistic Directorship of David Lan.

Over the past eighteen years, BFT has originated some of the world’s most provocative and breathtakingly physical theatre – 50 productions performed in more than 40 countries around the world. BFT’s stage productions have consistently challenged dictatorships, signalled the erosion of democratic rights and freedoms, and called for accountability on the world stage. BFT has pioneered an award-winning global model of activism that unites artistic, geopolitical, environmental and human rights concerns using theatre to build a movement for democracy, human rights and artistic freedoms.

In December 2021, BFT was forced to relocate its 16-strong acting ensemble and their family members out of Belarus to safety. The decision was taken in response to the severe risk of reprisals they face as some of the most prominent opponents of the Belarusian regime. Since then BFT operates between the UK and Poland, creating ambitious stage productions that tour internationally alongside running a theatre laboratory for children and adults displaced by the war in Ukraine.

Awards for BFT include: the Magnitsky Prize, which recognises work in the field of human rights and anti-corruption (2020); the Human Rights Foundation’s Vaclav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent (2018); the Freedom Award, presented by the Atlantic Council at its annual Wroclaw Global Forum (2011); the Human Rights Prize of the French Republic (2007); and The Stage newspaper’s International Award (2021). In June 2023, Natalia Kaliada and Nicolai Khalezin were awarded the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for Services to Theatre in the King’s Birthday Honours.

Performers and creative team

For Belarus Free Theatre
Operations and Finance Director Nadia Brodskaya
Development Director Daniella Kaliada
Senior Producer Julia Sarvi 
Junior Producer Hanna Zelinska 
Producing Assistant Angelina Gorgaeva

Head of Production Ed Borgnis 
Production Manager Andreas Ayling 
Show Runner and Assistant to the Directors Svetlana Sugako
Stage Manager Kiryl Kalbasnikau

Mixing and Playback Sound Designer Keegan Curran 
Sound No 1 Dylan Winn-Davies 
Sound No 2 (rehearsals) Lucy Taylor 
Sound No 2 Deniz Yidiz 
Sound Producer Pavel Sinila 
Video Programmer Grace Duff

Production Assistant and Stage Hand Mikalai Kuprych 
Production Assistant and Stage Hand Darya Andreyanava
Pyrotechnics David Vialls 
Props Production Nabarro Quinn
Circus Consultants Nat Whittingham, Joel Le Clercq, Tilly Lee-Kronick
Sway Poles Consultant Alessandro Pietrolini
Soloists Acting Coach Sava Cebotari 
Revolve Operator Kiryl Kalbasnikau

Tailor-Technologist Olga Kucherenko 
Tailor Anastasiya Pukhouskaya 
Tailor & Masks fixer Nadya Sayapina
Masks maker Oleksandra Slodzik
Make-Up & Hair Artist Sofiia Mazurenko 
Make-Up Assistant Kayla Eviana
Circus Hair Tanya Ozhiganova

Design Studio TosyArtS 
Design Studio Soyka
Editor & Motion Design (video projections) Maxim Denysenko 
Colour Design (video projections) Andrii Adler 
DOP (video projections) Orest Kovalchuk 
Location Manager (video projection filming in Warsaw) Anna Gorbacheva 
Location coordinators: Mikita Liashchuk (Poland), Angelina Gorgaeva (London, UK)
SMM and Content Creator: Ksenia Pesenka​

Diliara Kvasha, Inha Nosikava, Kristina Kotsur, Piotr Yakub, Alina Kalenik, Aliaksandra Razhko, Hanna Matyl, Nadzeya Sidarovich, Daniil Maisei, Mikita liashchuk, Uladzislau Liashchuk, Nataliia Liashchuk, Danila Liashchuk, Nadia Kishkourna, Raman Shlykau, Viktoriya Bachura, Viktoria Kremko and Yolly Darkovich

Lead show image (Barbican poster) photographed by Viktoria Kvitka, with Igor Suliy (assistant to the photographer).

Creative team Gleb Shyrochkin, Kateryna Fogilieva, Antonina Belinska, Nikolas Kosmit, Dmytro Huliienko

Featured actors Nana Koloda, Sergiy Shuliak, Oleksii Novikov, Oleksandr Adamenko, Yaroslav Nikolaiev, Pushkar Yevhenii, Nikita Vankevych, Dmytro Kudin, Kagiian Illia, Volodymyr Marchuk, Peteliak Pavlo

Director, Dramaturgy and Original Text Adaptation Nicolai Khalezin 
Director Natalia Kaliada 
Narrator Andreï Andreevich Kaliada

Composer and Sound Designer Olga Podgaiskaya 
Librettist Andrei Khadanovich 
Conductor Vitali Alekseenok
Conductor’s Assistant Oleksandr Filiak 
Translator (libretto) Daniella Kaliada

Choreography Maryia Sazonava 
Fight Director Andrei Zayats

Set Design Nicolai Khalezin 
Co-Set Design & Head of Production Design Nadya Sayapina
Costume Design Lidiia Dresch-Pyshna 
Costume Design Anastasiya Ryabova 
Mask Design Anastasiya Miadzelets-Teush 
Lighting Design Peter Small 
Video Design Dmytro Guk

Soprano Tamara Kalinkina (performing the roles of Nadzeya Yanouskaya & Blue Woman on 14, 15 & 16 September, all at 7:15pm)

Baritone Andrei Bondarenko (performing the role of Andrey Belaretsky on 14, 15 & 16 September, all at 7:15pm)

Mezzo-soprano Iryna Zhytynska (performing the role of Andrey/a Svetilovich and Pani Kulsha) 

Tenor Oleksandr Chuvpylo (performing the role of Ales Varona)

Baritone Oleksandr Forkushak (performing the role of Gryn Dubatovk)

Soprano Olena Arbuzova (performing the roles of Nadzeya Yanouskaya and Blue Woman on 16 September at 1:15pm)

Baritone Mykola Hubchuk (performing the role of Andrey Belaretsky on 16 Sept at 1:15pm)

Five-Storey Ensemble are a collective of classical musicians from Belarus and Ukraine. For reasons relating to their personal safety we cannot name the five musicians from Belarus who appear on-stage in the production, but their Ukrainian colleagues are Anton Pastushok and Anna Polishchuk.

Actors and co-creators
Ryhor Raman Shytsko
Blue Woman Maryia Sazonava
Housekeeper Yuliya Shauchuk
Ignas Berman-Gatsevich Pavel Haradnitski
Beggar Woman, Little Man, Blue Woman Stanislava Shablinskaya
Little Man Siarhei Kvachonak
Pani Kulsha Kate Vostrikova
Performer Andrei Zayats
Performer Darya Andreyanava
Blue Woman, Housekeeper (in video projections only) Daniella Kaliada

Sway pole performers
Ileana Maria Susanna Prudente
Tilly Lee-Kronick
Carys Victoria Nicholls

Cello player (on stage during the intermission)
Elizaveta Lessoun

ID Fight 

Related event: Letters of Hope

Cate Blanchett moderates this vital panel discussion with BFT on the impact of war and dictatorship on the children of Ukraine and Belarus.

Scene-by-scene walkthrough

King Stakh's Wild Hunt follows the ghostly hunt to free a young heiress from an evil curse. One day in late autumn 1888, Andrey Belaretsky, a young ethnographer, sets out on a journey to the remotest regions of Belarus. Stranded in a storm en route, he is forced to take refuge in the sprawling castle of Marshland Firs, home of the aristocratic Yanouskaya family. There the teenage Nadzeya Yanouskaya tells Andrey that her family has been cursed for twenty generations and that she, as the last in her family line, has all-consuming visions of a sudden and violent death. Andrey agrees to help Nadzeya break free from this ancient curse, but as he begins to unravel the secrets of the Yanouskaya family, he too becomes a target of the Wild Hunt, the murderous spectral figures that stalk the Marshland Firs estate. Andrey must uncover the truth about these otherworldly huntsmen to release Nadzeya from her terrible fate and undo the curse that has marked the noble family for so long.

I. Andrey Belaretsky, a folklore scholar and a Belarusian patriot, reminisces about his youth and begins to tell the story of how, as a young man, he travelled to one of the most remote corners of Belarus in search of ancient legends. He explains how, on route, he was caught up in a terrible thunderstorm and found himself in front of Marshland Firs estate.

II. On the doorstep, Andrey is greeted by an elderly housekeeper who takes him to her mistress – a young aristocrat called Nadzeya Yanouskaya. Andrey and Nadzeya talk over dinner; she is concerned about his interest in old legends. She asks him if he really believes that there is love in the world; she doesn’t believe in it anymore.

III. Nadzeya shows Andrey an antique goblet, which was given to her ancestor, Roman the Elder, by the legendary King Stakh. She then tells him how her family were betrayed, duped into selling their land to foreigners. They are interrupted by the sound of footsteps. Nadzeya is frightened and tells Andrey about the ghosts of Marshland Firs – the Little Man and the Blue Woman. Andrey rushes out to look for them.

IV. The search leads Andrey to the library, where he meets the bookkeeper, Ignas Berman-Gatsevich. He recounts an old legend about the uprising led by King Stakh: Roman Yanousky, Nadzeya's ancestor, tricked King Stakh into a hunt and then poisoned the wine at the post-hunt revelries, killing Stakh and his men. Their corpses were tied to horses and left to gallop off through the marshes. But the soul of Stakh would not die and promised revenge on Roman and all of his descendants for twenty generations.

V. Guests are gathering for a ball in honour of Nadzeya's coming of age. Her guardian, Gryn Dubatovk, presents her with three gifts, one of which is a portrait of Roman the Elder. The nobleman, Ales Varona, rudely pushes Andrey, but their escalating quarrel is halted when Andrey and Nadzeya decide to dance a waltz. Dubatovk reveals that Nadzeya doesn’t have a dowry to get married. Andrey meets Andrey/a Svetilovich, a former student of Kyiv University, who was kicked out for anti-imperial protests and for supporting for Ukraine.

VI. The feasting and drinking continues. Andrey’s quarrel with Ales Varona flares up again with renewed force, ending in a duel. Each is given three bullets. Varona misses three times, while Andrey accidentally wounds him with the first shot. He returns to Marshland Firs on foot and witnesses the Wild Hunt for the first time.

VII. Andrey receives a letter threatening him with a night visit from the Wild Hunt. He isn’t easily frightened. He reflects on the fact that ghosts don’t write letters and begins to think that there is some kind of trickery in play.

VIII. Andrey tells Nadzeya how he woke in the night thinking he saw her housekeeper but it was in fact the ghost of the Blue Woman. Nadzeya believes that this a sign of terrible events to come and asks him to save himself and to leave the estate. Andrey refuses. During a conversation with Svetsilovich, Andrey starts to get to the bottom of the foul play, but there are too many suspects. He goes to speak to Ignas Berman-Gatsevich but he’s in a terrible state - his hands are shaking and Andrey suspects there’s something wrong with him.

IX. Andrey meets a local woman who explains that the Wild Hunt is taking land from the people and killing anyone who protests. He then meets Pani Kulsha, who mistakes him for King Stakh. The hunter, Ryhor, appears; he is a bit mistrustful of Andrey but promises to help him track down the Hunt.

X. Andrey catches the housekeeper stealing a document from Nadzeya. He is outraged but Nadzeya forgives her immediately. The Wild Hunt is on the move through the Marshland Firs. Nadzeya leaves, and Andrey realises that he is in love with her, but believes she cannot love him because he is not of noble birth.

XI. Svetsilovich tells Andrey that Ignas Berman-Gatsevich has a brother whom no one has ever seen. Ryhor returns and reports that after watching the Hunt, he is convinced that they are not ghosts, but real people. Svetsilovich has his own suspicions too. Andrey reads a letter that had been sent to the former student. The letter is damaged, but the signature is visible. It reads: "Likol". Svetsilovich curses the enemies of his native land and announces the inevitable victory of the light.

XII. Andrey witnesses Svetsilovich being killed from afar, runs over, bends over the body and mourns his friend.

XIII. Svetsilovich’s funeral: a chorus sings for him as the only defender of the people from the evil lords. Nadzeya asks Andrey to leave. He refuses and promises to defend her even as a dead man.

XIV. Ryhor has found the Hunt’s forest hideout. He gives Andrey a letter that asks him for a meeting; the same letter Svetsilovich received prior to his untimely death. Andrey believes that Svetsilovich’s killer is Ignas Berman-Gatsevich. He is struck by how similar his hands are to those of the Little Man. But then Berman-Gatsevich becomes the next victim. Andrei overhears the conversation of his killers, and understands that the main murderous figure is the mysterious Likol. Andrey questions Nadzeya about Likol. She explains that it was a nickname they had for Dubatovk when she was a child.

XV. Andrey is reading Berman-Gatsevich’s diary when he sees the Little Man. But it turns out to be Basil, Berman-Gatsevich’s never-before-seen brother. Basil is now alone and without a breadwinner.

XVI. Andrey meets with Ryhor, and together they lead the uprising of the people against the Wild Hunt. They decide to set a trap. Andrey catches one of the horseman and tears off his mask – it is the nobleman, Ales Varona. The other riders are frightened and retreat – some of them noblemen like Varona, others are stuffed animals tied to horses. But Dubatovk is not with them, so the rebels move towards his estate.

XVIII. The rebels set fire to Dubatovk’s house, so he takes a secret exit and tries to escape through the swamp. But the horses of the Wild Hunt run to the voice of King Stakh and trample Dubatovk into the swamp. Drowning, he curses the rebels to the twentieth generation, promising them and their children eternal slavery and the worst luck in the world.

XVIII. Andrey wakes suddenly. He sees the Blue Woman – she appears to be sleepwalking. He wakes her and immediately realises that Nadzeya is the Blue Woman. He confesses his love to her. Nadzeya has also been in love with Andrey for a long time. She tells him that this love has brought her back to life and now her future is hers to decide.

Related event: BFT in conversation

Join BFT's co-founding Artistic Directors, Natalia Kaliada and Nicolai Khalezin for a discussion chaired by Baroness Helena Kennedy QC.


Nicolai Khalezin (Director, Dramaturgy, Original Text Adaptation and Set Design)
Nicolai is the co-founding Artistic Director of BFT, an award-winning director, playwright, designer, educator, political campaigner, and journalist. Prior to co-founding BFT in 2005, Nicolai was Editor-in-Chief of three of the leading social-political weekly newspapers in Belarus – Name, News and Our Freedom – all of which were shut down by the regime. The journalistic approach to theatre-making that has characterised all of BFT’s stage productions over the past eighteen years owes much to his rigorous editorial method. Another significant influence on his theatrical vision is a deep love and knowledge of contemporary art. Nicolai was the owner of the only contemporary art gallery in Minsk, which was also closed down by the authorities. His works were exhibited at the Istanbul Biennale, Milan Expo, in Rome, Berlin, and at the Moscow Centre of Contemporary Art. Nicolai served time in prison in Belarus for his involvement in political campaigns and was recognised as a Prisoner of Consciousness by Amnesty International. This experience inspired one of BFT’s most celebrated shows, Generation Jeans, an autobiographical duologue about rock music and resistance. Written, directed, and performed by Nicolai Khalezin, with live music by DJ Laurel, Generation Jeans has been performed more than 100 times around the world to date, including at the home of President Vaclav Havel upon his invitation in 2008 and at the UK’s House of Commons together with BFT Trustee Jude Law in 2012. Further playwriting credits for BFT include: Dogs of Europe, Burning Doors, The Master had a Talking Sparrow, Discover Love, Trash Cuisine, Time of Women, all of which he also directed, and the adaptation of King Lear which was staged at the Globe to Globe Festival as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. In June 2023, Nicolai was awarded the MBE for Services to Theatre in the King’s Birthday Honours.

Natalia Kaliada (Director)
Natalia is the co-founding Artistic Director of BFT, an award-winning theatre-maker, writer and director. As an internationally renowned diplomat and human rights campaigner Natalia has pioneered a unique method of transversal lobbying and campaigning, uniting artistic, geopolitical, environmental and human rights concerns to bring systematic change to different societies. Working alongside We Remember Foundation and Free Belarus Now, Natalia took part in high-profile negotiations with Hillary Clinton, Former US Secretary of State, and Hon. William Hague, Former Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, focused on the implementation of targeted economic sanctions against Alexander Lukashenko and others responsible for the repression of the Belarusian people. Forced to leave her home in Minsk for her work as a political campaigner and as the co-founder of Belarus Free Theatre – the only theatre in Europe banned by its government on political grounds – Natalia sought asylum in the UK in 2011 where she is now a political refugee. Natalia originated the Global Artistic Campaign Free Belarus which has received the support of numerous leading contemporary artists and politicians including BFT Patrons Sir Tom Stoppard, President Vaclav Havel, and Harold Pinter. In 2000/2001, the US State Department gave her two Meritorious Honour Awards for Personal Bravery and Courage. Natalia has hosted masterclasses at world-leading universities and institutions including: Central Saint Martins, RADA, LAMDA and CCODS (in the UK); ENSAT, Lyon (in France); Brown University, Tisch School, NYU and Georgetown University (in the USA). Natalia created the Women 4 Women Alliance in 2020, to honour and amplify the voices of the women of Belarus bravely resisting the dictatorship. The Alliance was first launched together with Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright and Senator Jeanne Shaheen, and continues this autumn with a panel discussion in London to bring the world’s attention back to the impact of war and dictatorship on the children of Ukraine and Belarus. In June 2023, Natalia was awarded the MBE for Services to Theatre in the King’s Birthday Honours.

Andreï Andreevich Kaliada 1940-2022 (Narrator) 
Andreï studied acting at the Belarusian Academy of Dramatic Arts in Minsk. Upon graduation in 1962 he worked in theatre and film before taking up the role of senior lecturer at the Pedagogical University where he trained students in dramatic speech and established the University’s first theatre. Between 1989 and 2000, he was Vice Chancellor of the Belarusian Academy of Dramatic Arts, a period that saw the cultural rebirth of Belarusian language and culture. He translated the Academy’s curriculum from Russian into Belarusian working up to sixteen hours a day; by the end of his tenure, he had translated 65% of it. Andreï was fired from the Academy in 2008 for his association with BFT, the theatre troupe co-founded by his daughter, Natalia Kaliada, and her husband, Nicolai Khalezin. He served as Professor at BFT’s theatre laboratory, Fortinbras, the only independent arts school in Belarus, from 2008 until the end of his life. Andreï Andreevich Kaliada was an eminent figure in audio books, recording hundreds of stories in the Belarusian language. He is the narrator of King Stakh's Wild Hunt; extracts have been taken from the recording he made of Uladzimir Karatkievich’s novel in 2009.

Olga Podgaiskaya (Composer and Sound Designer)
Composer and organist, Olga Podgaiskaya, was born in Karaganda, Kazakhstan in 1981. Her family moved to Belarus in 1995, and in 2000, she graduated from the Lida College of Music (Musicology). She graduated from the Belarusian State Academy of Music in 2005 (Composition, Organ), received a master's degree the following year (Composition) and in 2008, completed her assistantship (Organ). Olga Podgaiskaya has been the musical director of Kinemo, the festival of contemporary music and silent cinema in Minsk since 2013. She is a member of and the main composer for the Five-Storey Ensemble. In addition to her work as a composer, she is actively involved in concert activities. She is the initiator of numerous events related to contemporary music in Belarus. She is a laureate of international competitions. She has participated in various festivals in Belarus, Ukraine, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France, Italy, Portugal, Denmark, Canada and others. Olga Podgaiskaya is a Fellow of the Polish Ministry of Culture Gaude Polonia programme (2016, 2022) and finalist of the Envision sound programme for film composers (Kyiv, 2019). In 2021 she was in residency at Sasha Walts & Guests dance company, and in 2022 participated in the Arvo Pärt Centre Fellowship Programme. She is a member of the Union of Belarusian Composers and the Union of Musicians of Belarus. In 2021, Olga Podgaiskaya moved to Warsaw, Poland. Olga Podgaiskaya writes symphonic and chamber music. She is the author of music for more than twenty silent films and composes for the theatre. The Barbican world premiere of King Stakh's Wild Hunt is Olga Podgaiskaya's UK debut.

Andrei Khadanovich (Librettist)
Andrei is a poet, translator of poetry, literary critic, and essayist. In 1995, he graduated from the philological department of the Belarusian State University, where he would then give lectures on the history of French literature for many years. He also taught at the Belarusian High School in Minsk. He conducted translation workshops at the Belarusian College and at the Belarusian PEN Club. His poems have been translated into English, Czech, Spanish, Lithuanian, German, Slovak, Slovenian and Russian. He is a member of the Union of Belarusian Writers, the Belarusian PEN Club, and since 2021 is a member of the Polish PEN Club. He translated, sang and recorded the album “Mury” by Jacek Kaczmarski in Belarusian. His version of the title track has become an unofficial anthem of the Belarusian opposition. He has translated poetry from English (Emily Dickinson, W B Yeats, W H Auden, and others), Russian (Osip Mandelstam, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Iosif Brodsky, Gennadiy Aygi), Ukrainian (Yurii Andrukhovych, Serhiy Zhadan, and others), French (Charles Baudelaire, Arthur Rimbaud, Guillaume Apollinaire, and others) and Polish (Mickiewicz, Norwid, Fredro, Gałczyński, Miłosz, Szymborska, Herbert, Twardowski, Krynicki, Lipska, Zadura, and others). For his translations of Polish literature, he received the Gloria Artis Medal for Merit to Culture and the Polish PEN Club Award, and for his translations of Charles Baudelaire, he was honored with the Carlos Sherman Prize. He published a volume of poetry in Polish, “Święta Nowego Rocku” (Wrocław 2006) and a bilingual volume “Zabawy fantomowe / Фантомныя радасьці” (Sejny 2021). Andrei is the editor of poetry, dramas and essays, as well as translations into Belarusian, including an anthology of the young Belarusian poetry “Пуп неба”, which appeared in Polish under the title “Pępek nieba” (Wrocław 2006), and an anthology of Polish short stories in Belarusian translation “Dwadzieścia polskich opowiadań” (“Дваццаць польскіх апавяданьняў”, Minsk 2007).

Vitali Alekseenok (Conductor)
Belarusian conductor Vitali Alekseenok trained at the St Petersburg Conservatory and the Weimar University of Music, and came to international attention after winning the Arturo Toscanini Conducting Competition in 2021. He is currently First Kapellmeister and Deputy Music Director at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf/Duisburg and will become their Principal Conductor from the 2024/25 season. He will conduct the world premiere of Manfred Trojahn's Septembersonate and the new production of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin in the upcoming season, as well as the dance production of Surrogate Cities by Demis Volpi to a composition by Heiner Goebbels. Vitali Alekseenok is the Principal Guest Conductor at the Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania, where he regularly conducts large symphonic repertoire. He is also the Artistic Director of the annual Kharkiv Music Festival, presenting concerts in bomb shelters, subways and hospitals in Ukraine’s second largest city since the beginning of the war. He conducted the first Ukrainian performance of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde at the National Opera of Ukraine in autumn 2021. Past credits as a conductor and assistant also include: the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Oper Graz in Austria, Odessa National Opera House, Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar and State Opera Varna in Bulgaria. He made his debut at Milan’s Teatro alla Scala in the 2022/23 season with the world premiere of the opera, Il Piccolo Principe. The Barbican world premiere of King Stakh's Wild Hunt is Vitali Alekseenok’s UK debut.

Nadya Sayapina (Co-Set Design & Head of Production Design)
Nadya is an interdisciplinary artist, author of projects and art tutor. In 2011, she graduated from the Belarusian State University of Culture and Arts majoring in arts and crafts, before completing her Masters in art history at the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. Nadya regularly participates in international exhibitions, art festivals and residences on collaborative and interdisciplinary projects. She worked with the Goethe Institute in Belarus and Ukraine, was a fellow of the Goethe Institute Germany and the Martin Roth initiative, CEC Artslink. Since 2021 she has been participating in the projects of Musik der Jahrhunderte Stuttgart e.V. Within the framework of the ASA exchange programme, she was invited to be a guest lecturer for the winter semester 2021-2022 at HFBK University of Fine Arts in Hamburg. Using various forms – performance, multimedia, installations, paintings, texts, and art therapy – Nadya’s methods draw on the practices of community-based and socially engaged art, where the artist is tasked with giving space to the voices of the excluded and illuminating the issue through the means of art. In autumn 2020, Nadya was arrested in her home in Minsk for participating in an art campaign against violence entitled, “The Art of Regime”. After serving her sentence, she left Belarus. She is currently based in Poland.

Lidiia Dresch-Pyshna (Costume Design) 
Lidiia Dresch-Pyshna, born and raised in Ukraine, has harboured a lifelong fascination with costume design, though she did not immediately pursue her dream. Instead, she embarked on a journey of self-discovery through art and writing, seeking to define her unique artistic signature. Later, Lidiia pursued her passion for fashion design by enrolling in one of the prestigious fashion programmes at the University of Westminster. In 2019, she graduated with a first-class honours degree, with her final collection showcased in London Fashion Week. Following this achievement, she gained invaluable experience working with the couture team at Marc Jacobs in New York. Despite having numerous enticing job opportunities in leading European fashion houses, Lidiia faced a persistent obstacle - her Ukrainian passport. Undeterred by this injustice, she charted a different course and secured a start-up visa. Within the next six months she intends to launch her own brand. Lidiia's creative work has consistently revolved around the adversities faced by women, the injustices inherent in bureaucratic and social systems, and the accompanying psychological traumas. When Lidiia was invited to work on costumes for King Stakh’s Wild Hunt, the lead character Nadzeya Yanouskaya became her primary interest. This challenging character comprehensively encompasses the central themes within Lidiia’s work.

Anastasiya Ryabova (Costume Design)
Anastasiya was born in Brest into a family of artists. She studied at the Minsk College of Arts (Akhremchik), graduating in 2015 with a degree in decorative and applied arts, and then went on to study clothing design from 2015-2020 at the Belarusian State Academy of Arts. Exhibitions and performances include: Yadnanne, a fashion/dance performance (2022), ArtMinsk (2021), and the immersive project, EXIT (2019). Her credits as a set and costume designer include work in theatre, advertising, film and broadcast. Between 2018-2021, Anastasiya was a free genre artist, stilt walker and performer for the Experimental Theater Te(Art) in Minsk. She has been a member of the dance performance group, Structurers, since 2018.

Anastasiya Miadzelets-Teush (Mask Design)
Anastasiya is a multidisciplinary artist working in scenography, costume design, props, as well as in graphic design for books and magazines, including the Belarusian cultural magazine, Lyamant, for which she is Art Director. Between 2019 and 2021, she was production designer on numerous performances across Belarus. This experience shaped her passion for combining traditional and innovative methods in theatrical productions, introducing solutions that were previously unexpected for the Belarusian stage. Anastasiya has worked onsite-specific performance for the collective, STUCTURES, creating their solo theatre projects at independent art platforms in Minsk. She is particularly interested in the integration of cultures and symbols from different countries and cultures into theatrical works, striving to reflect metaphors and allusions in a more vivid and multifaceted way. Now living in exile, she increasingly refers back to the traditional techniques and themes of her motherland. Past theatre credits for set and costume design include: Per Gunt (Puppet Theatre, Gomel), Fans, a rock-comedy (Youth Theatre, Gomel), Thunderstorm (Drama Theatre, Minsk), The Drunks (M11), Šukra, EXIT, and Robotino (all in Minsk).

Peter Small (Lighting Design)
Peter is an Offie and Theatre & Technology Award nominated lighting designer working across theatre, dance and opera. In 2018 Peter was nominated for two Off West End Best Lighting Awards for Black Mountain and A Girl in School Uniform (Walks in to a Bar). Theatre includes: Kathy & Stella Solve a Murder, and 17 Minutes (both at Edinburgh Fringe Festival); The Greatest Night of the Jazz Age (The Lost Estate); Orlando (59E59 New York); The Misandrist (Arcola Theatre); The Ritual Slaughter of Gorge Mastromas, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, The Priory, and A Skull in Connemara (all at the Dailes Theatre, Latvia); Dido’s Bar (Dash Arts UK tour); Twelfth Night (Kew Gardens); What Remains for Us (Bristol Old Vic); The Great Murder Mystery and The Great Christmas Feast (The Lost Estate); Red (Polka Theatre); 2020: Collections (Tara Arts); Baby Reindeer (Bush and Edinburgh Fringe); Lady Chatterley’s Lover (UK tour); Square Go (UK tour, 59E59 Theater New York and Edinburgh Fringe); Lit (Nottingham Playhouse tour and online); and All Or Nothing (West End and tour).

Dmytro Guk (Video Design)
Dmytro Guk is a stage director, art director and creative producer. Born in Odessa Dmytro moved to Kyiv aged 19 to enroll in film and television directing and later worked as a stage director on popular Ukrainian entertainment shows including Dancing with the Stars and The Voice of the Country. Dmytro was also Art Director for Ukraine’s largest music festival, Atlas Festival. Following Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the team behind 1+1media TV channel and Atlas Festival mounted three international charity marathons, including Save Ukraine and Embrace Ukraine. Dmytro was a creative producer on these events which reached audiences in 40 countries worldwide and raised more than $3,000,000 in humanitarian aid for Ukraine. Today, Dmytro’s mission is to use culture as a means to show Ukraine to the world and contribute to the betterment of the country.



Tamara Kalinkina (performing the roles of Nadzeya Yanouskaya & Blue Woman on 14, 15 & 16 September, all at 7:15pm)
Ukrainian soprano, Tamara Kalinkina, is lead soloist at the National Opera of Ukraine. She graduated from the Gliere National Institute of Music in 2005 and the Tchaikovsky National Academy of Music in 2009, both in Kyiv. Competitions and Awards include: First Prize in the 2020 Professional Voice Category in Vienna International Music Competition; First Prize in the 2012 Riccardo Zandonai International Voice Competition; and Second Prize in the 2012 Mykola Lysenko International Music Competition in Kyiv, Ukraine. In August 2018, she was awarded the honorary title of Distinguished Artist of Ukraine by the then President Petro Poroshenko. Tamara Kalinkina has performed in many of the world’s leading opera houses, with highlights that include the role of Tatiana in Eugene Onegin for Polish National Opera; Zerlina in Don Giovanni at Teatro San Carlo in Naples; Violetta in La Traviata for São Paulo’s Teatro Sergio Cardoso; the title role in Madame Butterfly for Estonia’s Teater Vanemuine; and Mimi in La Bohème at Bulgaria’s State Opera Stara Zagora. In August 2021, she performed alongside Andrea Bocelli in a concert to mark the 30th anniversary of Ukraine's independence, accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine and the Veryovka National Choir of Ukraine led by Maestro Marcello Rota. Tamara Kalinkina will make her UK debut at the Barbican Theatre in the lead role of Nadzeya Yanouskaya in King Stakh's Wild Hunt.

Andrei Bondarenko (performing the role of Andrey Belaretsky on 14, 15 & 16 September, all at 7:15pm)
Ukrainian baritone, Andrei Bondarenko is one of the most exciting young baritones of today, having worked extensively with Valery Gergiev, Ivor Bolton, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Vasily Petrenko, Enrique Mazzola, Kirill Karabits, Teodor Currentzis, Emanuelle Villaume, Omer Meir Wellber, Alain Altinoglou, Daniele Callegari, Lorenzo Viotti, Stefano Ranzani, Giacomo Sagripanti, Giampaolo Bisanti, Nick Carter, Ivan Repušic, Dmitry Kitajenko, and Cornelius Meister. This 2023/24 season, he will continue in the ensemble of Volksoper Wien, where his repertoire will include La Bohème, La Rondine, and La Traviata. He will return to Teatro Massimo di Palermo for his role debut of Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde and also return to the Glyndebourne Festival to sing the title role in Don Giovanni. Andrei Bondarenko regularly performs at Opernhaus Zürich, Semperoper Dresden, Staatsoper Hamburg, New Israeli Opera Tel Aviv, Palm Beach Opera, Münchner Opernfestspiele, Bayerische Staatsoper, München, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Scottish Opera, Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow, Oper Köln, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Dallas Opera, Oper im Steinbruch St Margarethen, Vilnius City Opera, Israeli Opera, Tel Aviv, Perm Opera, Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg, Perm Opera, Teatro Real de Madrid, Glyndebourne Festival, Touring Opera, and Oper Stuttgart. Andrei Bondarenko won the 2011 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition Song Prize, was awarded a diploma at the Ukrainian competition “New Ukrainian Voices” and won first prize at the international vocal competition “Art in the 21st Century” in Vorzel (Ukraine). He was a prize-winner at the 2006 International Rimsky-Korsakov vocal competition in St Petersburg, the 2008 all-Russian Nadezhda Obukhova Young Vocalists´ Festival and Competition and the 7th International Stanisław Moniuszko Vocal Competition in 2010. Andrei Bondarenko took part in the Salzburg Festival Young Singers Project, returning to the Festival for Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette with Yannick Nézet-Seguin, and Le rossignol with Ivor Bolton.

Iryna Zhytynska (Andrey/a Svetilovich & Pani Kulsha)
Ukrainian mezzo-soprano, Iryna Zhytynska, graduated from the National Tchaikovsky Academy of Music in Kyiv in 2007 and completed her post-graduate training under O Dyachenko. She made her professional debut in 2006 with the Ukrainian National Opera in the role of Olga in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin; a role she has reprised on numerous occasions since, including for Bilbao’s Teatro ABAO-OLBE in 2011, and Torino’s Teatro Reggio in 2013. In 2007, she appeared in the Wrocław Opera’s production of Rigoletto as Maddalena and was then appointed as soloist for the Opera House where she has since performed to critical and public acclaim. Iryna is often a featured guest artist: in 2008, she debuted in Madrid’s Teatro Real as Zefka in Janáček’s Zápisnik zmizelého, a role she went on to perform at Teatro la Maestranza in Seville and Teatro Arriaga in Bilbao. In 2009, she debuted in Teatr Wielki – Opera Narodowa (TWON) in Warsaw as Hostess in Boris Godunov, and the following year at the Poznan Opera as Charlotte in Massenet’s Werther. More recently, in 2020, Iryna performed the role of Charlotte in Massenet’s Werther at the Polish National Opera alongside tenor, Piotr Beczała. In the 21/22 season, she debuted as Sara in Donizetti’s Roberto Devereaux for the Stadttheater Passau and Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe; performed at the Joroinen Music Festival in Finland; and took up the role of Odarka in the Polish premiere of the Ukrainian opera, Zaporozhec za Dunajem, by Gulak-Artemovsky. Earlier this year, Iryna made her debut in the role of Santuzza in Michal Znaniecki`s production of Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana under the baton of Massimiliano Caldi for the Opera and Philharmonic in Bialystok, Poland.

Oleksandr Chuvpylo (Ales Varona)
Ukrainian tenor, Oleksandr Chuvpylo, was born in Kerch in 1988. In 2011, he graduated with honors from the vocal faculty of the Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine in Kyiv as a lyric baritone. That same year, he was a semi-finalist in the international vocal competition, Operalia, founded by Placido Domingo, and on the recommendation of Maestro Domingo completely switched to tenor repertoire. Oleksandr has been soloist for the National Academic Opereta Theatre of Ukraine since 2008, soloist-intern for the National Opera of Ukraine since 2011, and soloist for the National Philharmonic of Ukraine since 2012. His many international performances include tours in Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Austria, Portugal, and the United Kingdom with the Donetsk National Opera (Ukraine), National Philarmonic of Ukraine, and with the Ukrainian National Operetta Theatre.

Oleksandr Forkushak (Gryn Dubatovk)
Ukrainian baritone, Oleksandr Forkushak, was born in Kolomyia in 1983. He studied at the Ukrainian National Tchaikovsky Academy of Music in Kyiv from 2006 to 2011. He was soloist for National President Orchestra in Kyiv during the 2015/16 season, soloist for the Dnipro Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre between 2017-2020, and more recently, since 2020, soloist for Kyiv Opera Studio. Oleksandr has toured extensively across the UK as a soloist for Ellen Kent's Opera & Ballet International Company, including performances at Sheffield City Hall, New Wimbledon Theatre, Oxford New Theatre, Liverpool Empire Theatre, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Edinburgh Playhouse, St David’s Hall in Cardiff, Manchester Palace Theatre, Dublin National Concert Hall, and York Grand Opera House. Oleksandr performed the role of Kurwenal in the first Ukrainian performance of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde at the National Opera of Ukraine in autumn 2021, conducted by Vitali Alekseenok. Prizes include Second Prize in the 2021 Jerusalem International Opera Competition.

Olena Arbuzova (performing the roles of Nadzeya Yanouskaya and Blue Woman on 16 September at 1:15pm)
Ukrainian soprano, Olena Arbusova, was born in Khmelnytsky, and graduated from the Tchaikovsky National Academy of Music in 2001. She was lead soloist at Kyiv’s National Academic Operetta Theatre between 2007 and 2022, debuting as Odetta in Emmerich Kálmán’s operetta, Die Bajadere. In 2016, Olena founded Luna Ensemble, a baroque music collective for whom she has performed numerous baroque arias, a passion that she further developed while studying at the Baroque Singing Academy in Austria. In 2018, she began working with the Andriy Chernyi Orchestra in Odesa and toured across Ukraine with them. Performances as guest soloist include: the role of the Queen of the Night in Mozart’s The Magic Flute at Lviv Opera House (2016), the title role in Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta and Rosina in The Barber of Seville, both in 2018 at Kharkiv Opera House. On extensive tours across Ukraine, Olena has worked with almost all of the orchestras in cities including Mariupol, Khmelnytsky, Poltava, Kherson, Zaporizhia, Odesa, Vinnytsa, Donetsk, and in Kyiv, with orchestras and ensembles including: Kyiv Soloists, Kyiv Kamerata, Folk Music Ensemble (NAONI), Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and Ensemble Kyiv.

Mykola Hubchuk (performing the role of Andrey Belaretsky on 16 Sept at 1:15pm) 
Ukrainian baritone, Mykola Hubchuk, graduated from the Lviv National Academy of Music in 2005. He then joined the National Opera of Ukraine, and was promoted to soloist in 2008, a position he held until 2014. Since then, Mykola has performed in opera houses and concert halls across Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, France and Ukraine, including regular solo performances at Lviv National Opera House and at Krakow Music Festival with Kyiv National Operetta. He is a soloist at Kolomyia Philharmonic, currently under the Artistic Directorship of Oleksandr Kozarenko. Earlier this year, Mykola had numerous engagements at the prestigious Smetana Hall in Prague.



Five-Storey Ensemble are a collective of classical musicians from Belarus and Ukraine. For reasons relating to their personal safety we cannot name the five musicians from Belarus who appear on-stage in the production, but their Ukrainian colleagues are Anton Pastushok and Anna Polishchuk.


Actors and co-creators

Raman Shytsko (Ryhor) 
Raman studied at the Belarusian State Academy of Arts, graduating with a degree in theatre and film acting, before joining BFT’s theatre laboratory, Fortinbras, the only independent arts school in Belarus. Theatre credits include: Central Store, Onyx, Well-Being, Hansel and Gretel, A School for Fools, The Master had a Talking Sparrow, and most recently, Dogs of Europe (all with BFT).

Maryia Sazonava (Choreographer & Blue Woman) 
Maryia's creative journey began in 1994 when she joined Gostsitsa Folk Theatre. In 1998, she enrolled in the Belarusian State Academy of Arts, but left before completing her studies. Her theatre career includes performances at the Yanka Kupala Theatre, and alongside her work with BFT, Maryia has collaborated with the music group, Yuria and Wolf, and performed with ballet troupe, Todes.

Yuliya Shauchuk (Housekeeper)
Yuliya studied directing at the Belarusian State University of Arts, graduating in 2007. From 2008 to June 2011, she worked at the National Theatre of Belarusian Drama but was fired for giving an interview to a newspaper about censorship in theatre. Yuliya joined BFT in 2010 and has performed in New York ’79, Ivanov’s Christmas Tree, Nearest & Dearest, Today No-one was Born, The Master had a Talking Sparrow, DerMagenFenDelMoon: Stories by Kharms, and the international touring productions of King Lear, A Flower for Pina Bausch, Minsk 2011, Merry Christmas, Ms Meadows, Being Harold Pinter, Price of Money, Burning Doors, and A School for Fools. Directorial credits for BFT include Onyx, performed by Fortinbras students, and Well-Being.

Pavel Haradnitski (Ignas Berman-Gatsevich)
Pavel joined BFT in 2005, after graduating from a leading drama school in Minsk, Belarus. When BFT launched their theatre laboratory, Fortinbras, in 2008, he was so well versed in the BFT methodology that he became one of the teachers in the school, training young actors. In 2015, Pavel directed his debut play, which was based on the short stories by Daniil Kharms. A School for Fools was Pavel’s first full scale theatre production, directed in close collaboration with BFT's Artistic Directors, Nicolai Khalezin and Natalia Kaliada.

Stanislava Shablinskaya (Beggar Woman, Little Man, Blue Woman)
Performer and trainer Stanislava Shablinskaya studied at the New Theatre children’s school and has a Masters’ degree in cultural studies from the Belarus State University. She joined BFT’s theatre laboratory, Fortinbras, in 2014. Theatre credits include: Central Store, House #5, Hansel and Gretel, The Master had a Talking Sparrow, DerMagenFenDelMoon: Stories by Kharms, and the international touring productions of Burning Doors, Trash Cuisine, Minsk 2011, A School for Fools, and most recently, Dogs of Europe (all with BFT). Alongside her work on stage, Stanislava is the physical trainer for BFT drawing on her extensive experience in professional sport, most notably in karate; she won several Belarusian and world championships between 1997 and 2009.

Siarhei Kvachonak (Little Man)
Siarhei joined Fortinbras and BFT in 2011. Theatre credits include: Minsk 2011, King Lear, Trash Cuisine, Merry Christmas, Miss Meadows, Counting Sheep, Burning Doors, Nearest and Dearest, The Master had a Talking Sparrow, and Hansel and Gretel (all with BFT).

Kate Vostrikova (Pani Kulsha)
Kate is a London-based Ukrainian actress. Her career started in Ukraine right after her first year of training in the Kyiv National Theatre and Cinema University in 2015, and she has since appeared as a lead character in several TV series for Ukrainian national television. She continued her training in the UK at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Since then, she has worked on various independent films and TV series in the UK and Europe. When the war in Ukraine started, Kate joined BFT to express her political position as an artist. During her first year, she performed as a lead in three large-scale productions by the company, with performances taking place at London’s Barbican Centre, the Odéon-Théâtre de l’Europe as part of the Festival d'Automne à Paris, the Deutsches Theater Berlin, Staatstheater Mainz, and at the Adelaide Festival. Further theatre credits include: On the War (Royal Court), Community Creates (Hampstead Theatre), and Otvetka, which was produced by the Finborough Theatre and made available on YouTube; it was selected by The Guardian in its Best Theatre to Stream round-up.

Andrei Zayats (Performer & Fight Director)
Andrei is an actor, producer and fight choreographer. He spent his childhood between Belarus and Latvia, and then at the age of 13, joined the French theatrical troupe, Bal Trap, and for the next five years performed at theatre festivals across Europe. Andrei studied the craft of acting at Université de Louis Pasteur, Conservatoire de Nice, and Birmingham School of Acting. He is a certified teacher with the British Academy of Stage and Screen Combat. Film and TV credits include: The Old Guard, X-Men: First Class, Fast and Furious 6, Homeland, Killing Eve and The Night Manager. In his free time Andrei can be found in a dojo practicing Aikido throws or in a fencing hall mastering his riposte.

Darya Andreyanova (Performer)
Darya graduated in 2013 with a specialism in directing for television and went on to work with Zhest, a TV channel for hearing-impaired audiences. Between 2014 and 2018 she was an actor and film-maker with BFT in Minsk, with whom she co-authored and produced the documentary films, Centraal Store, and House No. 5. In 2018 she left BFT to join the Marina Razbezhkina School of Documentary Films in Moscow, reuniting with the theatre troupe in 2021.

Eyes in the photo with flames on top

Discover: Teaser trailer

Watch the haunting new teaser trailer for Belarus Free Theatre's latest production. King Stakh's Wild Hunt is one of Uladzimir Karatkievich’s most popular novels, inspired by Eastern European folklore.


King Stakh's Wild Hunt is a Belarus Free Theatre production, co-commissioned by the Barbican, and supported by the Maria Björnson Memorial Fund, Backstage Trust, the Belarusian Council of Culture and GMF (The German Marshall Fund of the United States).

Belarus Free Theatre would like to extend very special thanks to: Anonymous Spirits, RG, Greg James, Cate Blanchett, Julie Duffell, Paul Clark, Katie Mitchell, Lisa Thumwood, Keerthana Sivaram, Clara Theil, FCDO, Anna Fotyga, Elżbieta Wrotnowska-Gmyz, Anna Chylak, Waldemar Dąbrowski, Tomasz Tadrała - as well as BFT Trustees: Michael Attenborough CBE, Mark Ball (Chair), Tania Clark, Baroness Helena Kennedy of The Shaws, David Lan CBE, Jude Law, The Rt Hon Dame Maria Miller MP, Alison Stanley, Laura Wade and Samuel West.

For the Barbican

Barbican Centre Board
Tom Sleigh
Deputy Chair
Sir William Russell
Deputy Chair
Tobi Ruth Adebekun

Board Members
Randall Anderson, Munsur Ali, Stephen Bediako OBE, Farmida Bi CBE, Tijs Broeke, Zulum Elumogo, Wendy Mead OBE, Mark Page, Alpa Raja, Jens Riegelsberger, Jane Roscoe, Irem Yerdelen, Despina Tsatsas, Michael Asante MBE

Clerk to the Board
Kate Doidge and Ben Dunleavy

Barbican Centre Trust
Farmida Bi CBE
Vice Chair
Robert Glick OBE

Farmida Bi CBE, Tom Bloxham MBE, Stephanie Camu, Tony Chambers, Cas Donald, Robert Glick OBE, David Kapur, Ann Kenrick, Kendall Langford, Sir William Russell, Tom Sleigh, Claire Spencer AM, Sian Westerman

Chief Executive Officer
Claire Spencer
Artistic Director
Will Gompertz
Director of Development
Natasha Harris
Director of People, Inclusion and Culture
Ali Mirza
Head of Finance & Business Administration
Sarah Wall
Senior Executive Assistant to Claire Spencer and Will Gompertz
Jo Daly

Theatre Department
Head of Theatre and Dance
Toni Racklin
Senior Production Manager
Simon Bourne
Liz Eddy, Jill Shelley, Fiona Stewart
Assistant Producers
Saxon Mudge, Mali Siloko, Bridget Thornborrow
Production Managers
Jamie Maisey, Lee Tasker
Technical Managers
Steve Daly, Jane Dickerson, Nik Kennedy, Martin Morgan, Stevie Porter
Stage Managers
Lucinda Hamlin, Charlotte Oliver
Technical Supervisors
James Breedon, John Gilroy, Jamie Massey, Matt Nelson, Adam Parrott, Lawrence Sills, Chris Wilby
PA to Head of Theatre
David Green

Production Administrator
Caroline Hall
Production Assistant
Michaela Harcegová
Kendell Foster, Burcham Johnson, David Kennard, Bartek Kuta, Christian Lyons, Josh Massey, Fred Riding
Stage Door
Julian Fox, aLbi Gravener

Creative Collaboration and Learning
Head of Creative Collaboration
Karena Johnson
Lauren Brown
Assistant Producer
Rikky Onefeli

Marketing Department
Head of Marketing 
Jackie Ellis 
Deputy Head of Marketing
Ben Jefferies
Marketing Manager
Kyle Bradshaw
Marketing Assistant
Rebecca Moore

Communications Department
Head of Communications
James Tringham
Senior Communications Manager
Ariane Oiticica
Communications Manager
Communications Assistant
Sumayyah Sheikh

Audience Experience
Deputy Head of Audience Experience & Operations
Sheree Miller
Ticket Sales Managers
Lucy Allen, Oliver Robinson, Ben Skinner, Jane Thomas
Operations Managers
Seán Carter,  Rob Norris, Elizabeth Davies-Sadd, Samantha Teatheredge, Hayley Zwolinska
Operations Manager (Health & Safety)
Mo Reideman
Audience Event & Planning Manager
Freda Pouflis
Venue Managers
Scott Davies, Tilly Devine, Tabitha Goble, Nicola Lake, Maria Pateli

Assistant Venue Managers
Rhiannon Brennan, Melissa Olcese, Daniel Young
Crew Management
Dave Magwood, Rob Magwood, James Towell
Access and Licensing Manager
Rebecca Oliver
Security Operations Manager
Naqash Sheikh

Eight people dressed in black stand in a group in front of a sunset in a field. They are wearing face masks.

With thanks

The Barbican is London's creative catalyst for arts, curiosity and enterprise. We spark creative possibilities and transformation for artists, audiences and communities – to inspire, connect, and provoke debate. 

We're committed to making a difference locally, nationally and internationally by showcasing some of the most inspiring and visionary work by artists and communities. We're not-for-profit. Each year we need to raise 65% of our income through fundraising, ticket sales, and commercial activities. Our supporters play a vital role in keeping our programme accessible to everyone, which includes our work with local schools; development opportunities for emerging creatives; and access to discounted and subsided tickets. 

Barbican supporters enjoy behind the scenes access across the centre and see first-hand what their gift enables through enhanced priority booking, as well as access to tickets for sold-out performances and exclusive events. For more information please visit or contact [email protected].


With thanks...

Founder and principal funder
The City of London Corporation

Major Supporters
Arts Council England
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch)
Kiran Nadar Museum of Art
SHM Foundation
Sir Siegmund Warburg’s Voluntary Settlement
The Terra Foundation for American Art

Leading Supporters
Trevor Fenwick and Jane Hindley
Marcus Margulies

Programme Supporters
Marie-Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre (Spirit Now London)
Sayeh Ghanbari 
Goodman Gallery
Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery
Elizabeth and J Jeffry Louis
Pat and Pierre Maugüé 
Hugh Monk
Romilly Walton Masters Award
Jack Shainman Gallery
The Rudge Shipley Charitable Trust

Director’s Circle
Anonymous (1)
James and Louise Arnell
Farmida Bi CBE
Jo and Tom Bloxham MBE
Philippe and Stephanie Camu
Cas Donald
Alex and Elena Gerko
Trevor Fenwick and Jane Hindley
Sian and Matthew Westerman

Corporate Supporters
Bank of America
Bolt Burdon Kemp
Google Arts & Culture
Linklaters LLP
Norton Rose Fulbright
Osborne Clarke
Pinsent Masons
Standard Chartered
Slaughter and May
Vestiaire Collective

Trusts & Grantmakers
The Austin and Hope Pilkington Charitable Trust
Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne
Art Fund
Bagri Foundation
CHK Foundation
Cockayne – Grants for the Arts
Fluxus Art Projects
John S Cohen Foundation
Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands 
Goethe-Institut London 
Helen Frankenthaler Foundation
High Commission of Canada in The United Kingdom
Italian Cultural Institute in London
Korean Cultural Centre UK
Kusuma Trust UK
London Community Foundation
Mactaggart Third Fund
Maria Björnson Memorial Fund
Peter Sowerby Foundation
The Polonsky Foundation
Rix-Thompson-Rothenberg Foundation
SAHA Association
Swiss Cultural Fund
U.S. Embassy London

We also want to thank the Barbican Patrons, members, and the many thousands who made a donation when purchasing tickets. 

The Barbican Centre Trust Ltd, registered charity no. 294282