Mayakovsky : a play at Rich Mix for #Revolution17 - June 9th 10th 11th 2017

A new piece of experimental theatre exploring the life and death of one of Russia's greatest poets. Mayakovsky was commissioned by Rich Mix Arts Centre as part of their centenary commemoration of the Russian Revolution, #Revolution17, in cahoots with the brilliant Dash Arts. Mayakovsky is part of a night of new theatre entitled Land of Scoundrels.

Rich Mix Theatre  : 35-47 Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6LA Buy Tickets here https://www.richmix.org.uk/events/theatre/land-scoundrels
Friday June 9th 7.30pm  /  Saturday June 10th 7.30pm  /  Tickets for Sunday June 11th 6pm

About the play:
The play centres around Mayakovsky's final days before his apparent suicide in 1930. It places him in a kind of limbo, visualising his own funeral and remembrance in the isolation he experiences when out of favour with the Soviet regime and despised by the party line writers of the time. Often playful, abstract and non-linear, the play aims to be an eternal rendering of the last days of the Revolution's great, tragic poet. We see Mayakovsky in conversation with fellow poets Sergei Esenin, Velimir Khlebnikov and the last person to see him alive, Veronika Polonskaya. It is a play about infamy and reputation, about Russia as perceived by Europe, about the limitations of poetry itself, and language too, and the role the latter has in love and friendship - Mayakovsky is about living after death and how empty a thought this might be. 

About the production:
Mayakovsky will be performed as a double bill, alongside a new work from brilliant Viennese dramaturg Petra Freimund. Her work explores the 1917 Women's Revolution. Both productions benefit from a brand new stage design from artist and material engineer Thomas Duggan, who has constructed an immense geometric sculpture which will inhabit the Rich Mix theatre stage. The production will also feature new music by the remarkable Dirty Three, a recording gifted to the play by the band.


Mayakovsky for Dash Arts dacha at The British Library - May 28th 2017

A brilliant project by Dash Arts, to erect a moveable Dasha outside the British Library, something they've done a fair few times and for this occasion, as part of the #Revolution17 season, I had the chance to be Velimir Khlebnikov for an hour, talking about my peer Vladimir Mayakovsky, in the summer of 1917, between the revolution's Russia faced that year. A really remarkable setting and atmosphere, the playful dictum that we were all from one hundred years ago, experiencing the momentous events of 1917 was a lovely conceit, it lended itself perfectly to mixed tenses and humour. I followed a rendition of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, pictured below, and began my guided conversation with Josephine Burton with a reading of Mayakovsky, stomping about the dacha. We then settled in to a long and fruitful discussion about the poet and the period, much of my research for my upcoming play, Mayakovsky, also for the #Revolution17, stood me in good stead. As ever Dash Arts doing fascinating work.


The Cast of Mayakovsky!

Edie Deffenbach : Previous productions include Edward Albee’s The Goat, The Importance of Being Earnest and the Edinburgh Fringe’s premiere of Angels in America Part 1. Edie trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama and played Juana Ines De la Cruz in the spring production of Heresy of Love. Edie’s MA thesis analysed the Arab Spring from a performance and social theory perspective.

Rebecca Dunn : is a founding member and co-artistic director of Fluff productions. Previous productions include The Ark, The Bride and The Coffin (Old Red Lion) Bluebeard (Old Red Lion - Critics Choice) Lichentongue (Underbelly, Edinburgh Festival) World Enough and Time (The Dalston Bunker and Park Theatre) & The Taming of The Shrew and King John (Queens Film Theatre, Belfast).

Simon Christian : Trained at Vienna’s Filmcademy, graduating with honours and the Austrian National Diploma in Acting, before studying with Vienna’s English Theatre’s Youth Ensemble and the Guildford School of Acting. Previous productions include ‘Cats, Selfies and the Scattered Mind of the Incurable Dreamer’ (Space Theatre) and ‘The Collective Project’ ( Tristan Bates Theatre).

Alec Bennie : Recent productions include Macbeth (in a site specific production at the Valley of the Rocks in Exmoor) and 'The Alchemist' (Rose Playhouse). Alec graduated from Drama Studio London in 2014, appearing in 'The Possibilities (Tristan Bates) and 'How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found (New Diorama). Theatre includes, 'Iphigenia in Tauris' at the Rose Bankside, directed by Pamela Schermann, 'The Cruel Truth' (Rich Mix) 'The Way To A Man's Heart' (London Short Play Festival), as well as recently qualifying as a Personal Trainer.