The Knight of the Burning Pestle
Offer badge

The Knight of the Burning Pestle

4 (1) · Opera & Ballet, International Productions

Cheek by Jowl reunite with Moscow Pushkin Theatre for this outrageous dark comedy

“Performed in Russian with English surtitles, this is the latest co-production between revered international theatre makers Cheek by Jowl and Moscow Pushkin Theatre. It’s only in London for one week but if you can get along, you can get 50% off your tickets with our exclusive promo code.”


The London Merchant, a play about two dysfunctional families begins. But suddenly, from the audience, a grocer and his wife clamber onto the stage, explaining to the astonished actors that while they quite like the play, it could be better and more exciting. Apparently, singing, dancing, an exotic foreign location and the appearance of a knight are the missing ingredients. Luckily, their apprentice Rafe is just the man for the job.

Director Declan Donnellan and designer Nick Ormerod collaborate with Moscow’s Pushkin Theatre on Francis Beaumont’s subversive play within a play. The Knight of the Burning Pestle is a breathtaking comedy, hilarious and terrifying in its relevance to a post-expert world where everyone can be famous and anyone can write the story.

Performed in Russian with English surtitles
Age Recommendation: 16+

Critic reviews

Deliriously enjoyable Russian language version of the raucous metafarce

Time Out

A pair of Lion King fans blunder into a highbrow drama in Declan Donnellan’s gallant update of the class-collision comedy

The Guardian

This show makes you feel good and I could not stop smiling during the whole performance and all evening after

Theatre Weekly

A condensed, updated version of this ahead-of-its-time meta-comedy that is audacious and bewitching, at least for a while

The Times

A wonderful, mad night, which manages to bring a dusty, difficult play back to full theatrical vividness


Cultural sabotage of the wittiest kind

The Telegraph

The star of the show is Agrippina Steklova: she milks its emotional moments and plays with shameless skill on the artificiality of the main premise

The Arts desk

The Knight of the Burning Pestle is a joy to watch as well as a proper belly laugh in all its eccentricity and cheek

Broadway World

Cheek by Jowl's entertaining Russian-language update of Beaumont's metatheatrical comedy

The Stage

Date & time

Show ended
Wed 5 Jun - Sat 8 Jun, 2.30pm & 7.45pm
Runtime: 1 hr 40 mins


Silk Street EC2Y 8DS London, UK · Get Directions

Presented by

out of 5 stars
1 user review
Loading user reviews…

Seen the show? Add your review now!

Open in app