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Marylebone Theatre has ‘The Last Word’

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Marylebone Theatre has ‘The Last Word’

The UK Premiere of The Last Word will run at the Marylebone Theatre this autumn…

The Last Word is a searing multimedia performance based on the last words of women accused of political crimes in Russian courts, based on an idea by acclaimed actor Alisa Khazanova who performs the play with Valentin Tszin. The production explores how these powerful, outspoken messages from the courtroom form one of the last surviving bastions of free speech imaginable in contemporary Russia.

First performed in Berlin in December 2022, the performance brings together the ‘last words’ of defendants Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of punk band Pussy Riot; Alla Gutnikova, the editor of student magazine Doxa; Zarifa Sautieva former museum director and political activist; artists Sasha Skochilenko and Yulia Tsvetkova; and activists Anastasia Shevchenko and Yulia Galyamina.

Blending together their final statements with poems and excerpts from the memoirs of human rights activist and poet Natalya Gorbanevskaya and International Booker Prize nominee and Brücke Berlin winner Maria Stepanova, The Last Word shines a light on their courage, painting a timely and devastating picture of Russia’s current regime.

The Last Word reunites the creative team from last year’s five-star, Offie Award-winning production of The White Factory at the Marylebone Theatre, many of whom are acclaimed artists and leading cultural figures from Russia who fled the country after Putin’s full-scale attack on Ukraine. Maxim Didenko directs, with dramaturgy by journalist Anna Narinskaya, design by Pavel Semchenko, video design by Oleg Mikhailov, lighting design by Alex Musgrave and composition by Vladimir Rannev.

​Alisa Khazanova:

“Today’s reality throws the notion of Russian culture into stark relief. As an artist, I cannot remain neutral in the fight to wrestle our history and values from the grip of a revanchist regime bent on a brutal war. Giving a voice to women who are denied the right to free speech in today’s Russia is both my act of solidarity with those women and my act of resistance to a barbaric dictatorship waging an unjust war.”


The Last Word, The Marylebone Theatre, 5 – 21 September 2024

www.marylebonetheatre.com

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