Pussy Riot’s Masha Alyokhina to make theatre debut in the UK

Pussy Riot’s Masha Alyokhina to make theatre debut in the UK
Pussy Riot performing on Red Square in Moscow in 2012 (Image: Denis Bochkarev under a CC licence)

2 June 2016

One of the members of Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot, Masha Alyokhina, is bringing her first play to the UK.

The play, entitled Burning Doors, will be staged by banned theatre group Belarus Free Theatre and will centre on the challenges of being a political artist in contemporary Russia. It is set to draw on the experiences not only of Pussy Riot but other artists facing censorship, including art activist Pyotr Pavlensky and Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who was sentenced to 20 years in a Russian jail for terrorism last year.

“I want this to speak about the place of political artists and political art in the world, and about the difference between radical gestures and art,” Ms Alyokhina said in a statement to The Guardian. “The message here is the same as in our music and in our political acts. We are fighting against our oppressive governments, just now we are using theatre.”

Ms Alyokhina, who is due to travel to Belarus to work with Belarus Free Theatre, felt compelled to write the play after the arrest of Pavlensky last year.

“Pyotr is the most important artist working in Russia now, and I really want his message to be spread out to the world. Also I think it is important to prove that artists, particularly political artists, can make more powerful gestures, braver gestures and more uncommon gestures than politicians,” she noted.

Family members of Sentsov and Pavlensky are said to be aiding the production, providing information to Belarus Free Theatre.

Depending on when the Belarus Free Theatre reaches its Kickstarter funding target, Burning Doors will tour the UK later this year, travelling to cities such as London, Leicester and Manchester.


Source: The Guardian and Dazed