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Teatr.Doc – a theatre where nobody acts

Sat 20th Oct '18 - 15:00 - 16:30

A special event with leading critic of Russian theatre, John Freedman, on a rare visit to the UK, with teatr.doc’s Zarema Zaudinova. A talk about the history and activity of teatr.doc, Russia’s first centre of documentary theatre, including video excerpts from their most important performances and background on its history and the intimidation it has received over the years.

Over the 16 years of its existence, the avant-garde Teatr.doc has metamorphosed into a cultural phenomenon. It is the birthplace of national documentary theatre the verbatim tradition. It was also here where the careers of many stars of the Russian contemporary theatre (such as Ivan Vyrypaev, Kirill Serebrennikov and Viktor Ryzhakov) began.

The most important thing for Teatr.doc is man: his dignity and the problems of his existence.

Due to its political views the theatre has experienced harassment and disruptions of performances by the authorities, with police raids forcing staff to evacuate the audience mid-performance. The theatre has had to change venues several times since 2014.

In the spring of this year, the founders and leaders of Teatr.doc, Mikhail Ugarov and Elena Gremina, both died. However, this didn’t stop the work of Teatr.doc.

During this event Zarema Zaudinova and John Freedman will be showing video excerpts from the most significant performances of Teatr.doc, such as:

“September.doc”. A play about the terrorist attack in Beslan;

“Hour 18” . About the death of Sergei Magnitsky;

“Two in your house”;

“Marsh case”;


“New Antigone”

All of these plays showcase the fearlessness of Teatr.doc – a theatre which will not succumb to intimidation.

In English with some Russian. This is a joint event with the Anglo-Russian Culture Club.

Zarema Zaudinova

Director, assistant artistic director, co-curator of the festival “Hunting for Reality”.

Graduated from the Marina Razbezhkina and Mikhail Ugarov School of Documentary Film Making and Theatre.

In the Teatr.doc, she staged the plays – “Studio Apartment in Izmaylovo” and “Associates” (“Bolotnaya 2”) and worked on several plays as an assistant director.

John Freedman

American writer, translator and former theatre critic who has lived in Moscow since 1988. His play Dancing, Not Dead won the new play competition conducted by The Internationalists in 2011, and was performed in various languages in Romania, Germany, Russia and the United States. His short play Five Funny Tales from Buenos Aires has been performed frequently in the U.S. and the U.K. With Jennifer Johnson he co-authored Double Edge Theatre’s production of The Firebird in 2010. He has published and/or edited 12 English-language books about Russian theatre, and was the theatre critic of The Moscow Times English-language daily newspaper from 1992 to 2015.

Please see the event on 19th October also related to teatr.doc here.


Sat 20th Oct '18
15:00 - 16:30


Pushkin House
5A Bloomsbury Square
London, WC1A 2TA United Kingdom
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0207 269 9770