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Russian and Soviet Theatre

Tradition and the Avant-Garde

Konstantin Rudnitsky, Lesley Milne

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A remarkable survey of Russian theatre in the first decades of the twentieth century


In the interval between the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917 the Russian theatre of the future was already an obsessive preoccupation for writers, directors and designers. Lenin proclaimed that theatre had to be ‘greater than a spectacle’, and directors, designers, playwrights and artists rose to the challenge, creating an aesthetic revolution which is still inspiring today’s dramatists.

Russian and Soviet Theatre documents the extraordinary developments of the years from about 1900 to 1932. It presents an astonishing wealth of previously unpublished material, including over 450 illustrations showing performances directed by Meyerhold, Eisenstein and Mikhail Chekhov, with designs by some of the greatest modernist artists of the age, including Malevich, Larionov and Rodchenko. Visually exhilarating and critically perceptive, this book is a unique record of this formative period in modern theatre.

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'Kaleidoscopic but controlled; it conveys the energy, the joy even, of the Russian theatre … a pleasure'
Times Literary Supplement

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback with flaps

Size: 29.0 x 24.5 cm

Extent: 320 pp

Illustrations: 457

Publication date: 12 June 2000

ISBN: 9780500281956

About the Author

Konstantin Rudnitsky is an authority on the history of soviet theatre and cinema.

From 2001-4 Lesley Milne was Head of Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies at the University of Nottingham, then from 2005-8 Head of the School of Modern Languages.

List of Contributors

Roxane Permar