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Tom Stoppard speaks out in support of Teatr.doc (

posted 27 Oct 2014, 11:38 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 27 Oct 2014, 11:43 ]
26 October 2014


Photo: Tom Stoppard (Wikipedia)

British dramatist Tom Stoppard has published on the website COLTA.RU an open letter in support of the Moscow theatre of documentary plays ‘Teatr.doc’, which the city authorities are seeking to deprive of their premises.

"It is shocking news that the Moscow theatre group Teatr.doc is threatened with the loss of its performance space. For generations, Russian theatre culture has been an inspiration in good times and bad, and an object of veneration in the English-speaking world. Such a culture does not suddenly appear from nowhere in its maturity. It grows out of new voices, new forms, new ideas, and new subject matter. This is true everywhere, as I know from the experience of 50 years as a playwright.

"In Russia Teatre.doc is currently the most important example of a theatre group which, quite apart from the quality of its work which has given it an international reputation, contains the seeds of a vibrant and relevant theatre of the future. It fulfills one of the prime functions of art in society, namely to reflect, interpret and offer a critique of the social environment it lives in.

"The impulses which energize such a theatre are impossible to kill, but they can be wounded by a spirit of reprisal and petty vindictiveness. With sorrow one cannot help noting that the battle for freedom of expression which had been won in the past has to be fought again by this tiny theatre. As the government’s grip tightens on the mass media, Teatr.doc’s uncompromising stand has marked it out for its enemies. Now it needs its friends, more than ever."