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Theatre Review: Thoughts Spoken Aloud From Above ****

Lorna Irvine reviews a 'strong addition to the international canon' of A Play, a Pie and a Pint.

The last in A Play, a Pie and a Pint's season of Russian plays, Yuri Klavdiev's series of vignettes are comic, sad and an endlessly thought-provoking and tender look at Putin's dodgy legacy.

With PPP favourite Peter Arnott at the helm adapting the text, and Vox Motus' Candice Edmunds directing, it's a strong addition to the international canon.

A wild-eyed Simon Donaldson alongside Kirsty Stewart (both superb, versatile storytellers) examine class A drugs and the class system; ennui versus ecstasy, political complacency among the chattering classes, and the kind of insights on life that only come when you have been stabbed multiple times in a homophobic attack (a deeply moving and harrowing monologue from Stewart). Plus an imperious penguin, meditating on the cruelty of nature.

Klavdiev's writing, translated by Alexandra Smith, is rich with potent imagery but undercut with sly humour when earnest tendencies threaten to overwhelm the more poetic segments.

Their characters are a fine, well-observed microcosm of modern Russian society, and as you come out of the theatre blinking in the sunlight, you feel at once very relieved not to have to live in Russia, and a bit more fearful and fragile. Such thoughts as these deserve an audience--a shame so few came out to hear them.

Tags: theatre

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