The company’s raw examination of sexuality and human rights in their hometown of Minsk prompted The Telegraph to write, “it is easy to forget that there are still parts of the world where putting on a play represents an act of political courage.”
Responding to American writer Kathy Acker’s 1981 text N.Y.C 1979 depicting sexuality in New York, Minsk, 2011 reveals the scars of repression in Belarus where protests are brutally suppressed and underground nightclubs are routinely raided by special forces. The late Kathy Acker was among the most important postmodernist writers. A radical feminist and crucial figure in the Punk movement, her work includes Great Expectations, Blood and Guts in High School and Don Quixote.
Belarus Free Theatre was founded in 2005 under the Lukashenko dictatorship. Banned in their homecountry, they have staged underground and uncensored performances to draw attention to the problems faced in Europe’s last dictatorship. Many company members have served time in prison, lost their jobs, gone into hiding or been exiled. Despite this, Belarus Free Theatre has established a global reputation of artistic excellence and continue to develop award-winning work. Their previous credits include Eurepica. Challenge, Discover Love (for which they won an OBIE), Numbers, Being Harold Pinter and Generation Jeans. They have amassed a wealth of support from artists around the world, including abroad include Tom Stoppard, Jude Law, and playwright and former President of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Havel, who passed away yesterday.
Minsk, 2011: A Reply to Kathy Acker is on at the Young Vic from 12 – 23 June, 2012. Book tickets and learn more here.