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Belarus Free Theatre to stage underground theatre festival for 10th anniversary

Artwork for Belarus Free Theatre's Staging a Revolution festival.
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Belarus Free Theatre is to stage a two-week festival of performances at secret underground locations in celebration of the company’s 10th anniversary.

It will also host a solidarity concert of music and play readings as part of the celebrations.

The festival, called Staging a Revolution, will feature revivals of some of the company’s productions, as well as new versions of classics and a world premiere.

Running from November 2 to 14, the performances will be staged in undisclosed, underground locations in order to encourage audiences to reflect on how the company operates in Belarus, where its existence is illegal.

A series of 10 discussions on subjects such as freedom of expression and inequality will run alongside the productions.

The festival is co-produced with the Young Vic, where the company is an associate artist, and where three of the shows will be staged.

These include revivals of the company’s productions of King Lear and Being Harold Pinter, as well as the world premiere of Time of Women, which takes place on November 9 and 10.

A one-off gala concert will also be held at Koko in Camden in October as part of the company’s 10th anniversary celebrations.

I’m With the Banned will feature music from banned artists from Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, including Pussy Riot, as well as readings from plays and testimonies.

These will be performed by actors including Juliet Stevenson and Kim Cattrall.

Belarus Free Theatre co-founder Natalia Kaliada said: “Staging a Revolution marks our 10th anniversary and gives us a unique opportunity not just to mount a festival of performances and discussions in our adopted home of London, but to put musicians from Belarus, Russia and Ukraine centre stage here.

“Over the last few years, freedoms in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine have been challenged by a corrupt power that has its roots in the Soviet Union. We cannot stay silent and allow this to continue to happen and potentially extend its grasp even further into Europe.”

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