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Dogs of Europe

Belarus Free Theatre

A group of people sit around in a dark room reading books that have flames emerging from the pages.

From one of the world’s bravest theatre companies comes a visceral, psychological drama set in the near future, depicting a dystopian super-state in which individual rights have given way to control.

In 2049, a murder investigation sets a man on a quest, his search bringing him to former Belarus and Russia, now a European territory ruled by a secret service. But his journey becomes less about the regime’s origins, more a revelation about his own role in its creation. Based on Alhierd Bacharevic’s novel, Dogs of Europe is both an epic fantasy and political thriller about the dangers of looking away when authoritarianism takes root.

Exiled from their native country, the co-founders of Belarus Free Theatre are political refugees who make underground work that plays to courageous audiences in secret locations across Minsk. Everyone involved is under risk of arrest. Rehearsing from London and via Skype, the company is known for its physical theatrical style. Having lived in democracies and a dictatorship, this show is especially prescient.

2 hours 40 mins, including an interval
Age guidance 16+ (contains strong violence, nudity and sexual content. More Information)

Performed in Belarusian with English surtitles 

Post-show talk, Fri 15 May
Free to same-day ticket holders

Weekend Lab, Sat 16 – Sun 17 May

Presented and co-commissioned by the Barbican. Produced by Belarus Free Theatre with support from the Goethe-Institut, Cockayne – Grants for the Arts and The London Community Foundation and the H H Wingate Foundation. 


‘Hard-hitting, essential and furious, Belarus Free Theatre keeps political theatre alive and kicking‘
‘Art matters. And it’s hard to think of a theatre company that has proved that more than Belarus Free Theatre‘

Barbican Theatre