The return of Tim Supple to the London stage is an event to be cheered, as is the opening of a new theatre nestled in the heart of Marylebone. Supple, a former artistic director of the Young Vic, is tackling a play that will be unknown to many including me. It’s an unfinished drama written by Friedrich Schiller and set in Moscow in 1605 where the former chief of the secret police rules through fear. But a young opponent is on the rise with an army ready to march on the Kremlin. Peter Oswald, whose version of Schiller’s Mary Stuart transferred from the Donmar to the West End, provides the text to tell a story that clearly has contemporary parallels.
1605. Orthodox Russia stands alone, defiant against the Roman Catholic and Protestant West. The Kremlin has suppressed all opposition and keeps a ruthless grip on power with the support of the church and an appeal to nationalist sentiment. In Poland, a formidable young opponent appears: Dmitry. At his back a Polish army fuelled by fear of the Russian threat marches on Moscow. BUT IS HE WHO HE THINKS HE IS? A brilliant poetic drama that cuts to the psychological, political, and spiritual heart of the epochal Russian story on London’s newest stage. Age Recommendation: 12+