A director who sells out theatres in Moscow, Yury Butusov’s modern-dress version of Brecht’s parable play is punchy and vigorous, with a no-holds-barred performance by Alexandra Ursulyak at its core.
In search of a good person, the gods come to earth and are won over by kindhearted sex worker Shen Te. Her reward is money to open a small tobacco shop where she seeks to turn her life around. But when freeloaders overrun her business and exploit her generosity, she invents a non-existent cousin, ruthless and pragmatic enough to thwart everyone’s schemes.
For her role as the opposing cousins, Ursulyak won a Golden Mask Theatre Award in Russia. She heads an ensemble of actors and musicians who perform Paul Dessau’s songs in the original German, their translation cranking up their political potency. With a focus on the duality of human nature and survival in unstable circumstances, the production is stripped-down, with nods to cabaret and the grotesque.
Duration: 3 hours 20 mins, including an interval
Age guidance: 16+
Performed in Russian and German with English surtitles
Presented by the Barbican
Tour produced by Oksana Nemchuk in association with ArtsBridge
The Pushkin Theatre would like to acknowledge the generous support of Roman Abramovich
£125* (£150* Premium Package)
Premium Package includes a glass of champagne and a programme
Visitors with access requirements who have joined our Access Membership scheme may be eligible for reductions on tickets. Call the Box Office on 020 7638 8891. For Minicom facilities, call 07710 854 085.
Save 20%. Call the Groups line on 020 7382 7211.
Save 25%. More info
Discounts are not available on lowest price tickets and are subject to availability. Discounts do not apply to associated talks, films or workshops. They cannot be combined to make greater savings.
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Silk Street, London
Nearby public transport
We are within walking distance from a number of London Underground stations, the closest being Barbican, St Paul’s and Moorgate. The nearest train stations are Liverpool Street and Farringdon. Bus Route 153 runs directly past the Barbican along Chiswell Street
Car and bicycle parking
We have free bicycle spaces and paid car parking spaces available
Spaces for wheelchair users in the rear of the Stalls (four) and row B of the upper circle (four), both with companion seats. Row B is reached via a platform lift, and staff will be happy to help you. Seats in the back row of the Stalls are suitable for people with limited mobility.
Assistance dogs may be taken into the theatre – please tell us when booking, to ensure your seat has enough space. If you prefer, you may leave your dog with a member of the cloakroom staff during the performance.
For our occasional BSL-signed performances. Stalls seats close to the signer are reserved for people with hearing impairments. Please book early and ask for these seats.
These display the full text of the play on a screen as the actors speak the words. Seats with the best view of the screen are reserved for people with hearing impairments, so please book early and ask for these seats.
Audio-described performances and amplified sound
Headsets are available from the sales kiosk outside the Stalls Right entrance to the theatre
For more access information, please visit our Accessibility section.