Les Enfants Terribles to collaborate with Pussy Riot founder for new theatre show

Pussy Riot

Olivier Award-nominated theatre company Les Enfants Terribles are set to collaborate with Nadya Tolokonnikova – a founding member of Russian punk collective Pussy Riot – for a new immersive theatrical production.

The piece, Inside Pussy Riot, is to coincide with the Saatchi Gallery's Art Riot: Post Soviet Actionism exhibition in November and invites audiences to ‘pull on the balaclava and enter the immersive world of Inside Pussy Riot’.

Tolokonnikova was sentenced to two years in prison in August 2012 for performing a song - “Virgin Mary Put Putin Away” – inside Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. The production will see audiences stand in the dock as Pussy Riot and ‘live the realities of incarceration’.

She said: “Inside Pussy Riot shows you what prison, prosecution of political activists and police oppression looks like. It also reminds you what democracy, on the contrary, looks like. And when I say ‘democracy’, I mean real democracy, which is about direct participation of citizens. Inside Pussy Riot plunges you into the totality of an authoritarian system - if you do not choose real democracy and participation, authoritarianism chooses you.”

The production will run at the Saatchi Gallery from 14th November to 24th December.

Les Enfants Terribles are famed for their immersive theatrical experiences, the most recent of which – Alice’s Adventures Underground – just closed after a summer run at the Vaults in Waterloo.

Artistic director Oliver Lansley said: “Our plan is to provoke, challenge and make our audiences understand the experience Pussy Riot went through whilst also encouraging them to ask important questions about their own beliefs and what they might do if they found themselves in a similar situation. Freedom of speech is one of the most important contemporary values we have and one we often take for granted.”

Inside Pussy Riot is appropriate for ages 14 and over, and contains nudity. It is written by Oliver Lansley, with Nadya Tolokonnikova as associate writer, directed by Christa Harris and designed by Zoe Koperski.

Photo of Nadya Tolokonnikova courtesy Amber De Vos (flickr)

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