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Life And Fate Poster

Life And Fate

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Closed May 20, 2018

The fluidity, the attention to detail, the intensity and lucidity of many performances are breathtaking

Clare Shine, Financial Times

Why See Life And Fate?

The Squaring Up Of Two Totalitarian Systems

Based on Vasily Grossman's censored novel of the same name, Life and Fate has been adapted for the stage for the first time by Lev Dodin, artistic director of Maly Drama Theatre of St. Petersburg. Russian Gulags have long been compared to German concentration camps, and with Grossman's celebrated work further exploring Soviet Communism's parallels to Nazism, the novel was originally banned in Russia. To encapsulate the novel's vast subject matter of Stalin-era Soviet society for the stage, Dodin puts the central focus on the fate of a Jewish Family.

As part of Maly Drama Theatre's repertoire, this stage adaption has toured around the world for the past decade to great international acclaim and will come to London for the first time this season. The work is presented at Theatre Royal Haymarket in rotation with Anton Chekhov's, Uncle Vanya.

What Is Life and Fate About?

Set during Nazi Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union, the lay of the land is shown through the lives of the Jewish Shtrum family. They must figure their place within a world of oppressive rule, along with the looming escalation of the war. With Soviet society under scrutiny nuclear physicist, Viktor Shtrum is forced to face innumerable moral quandaries as his disillusionment with Stalin's regime grows and he confronts his neglected heritage.

Maly Drama Theatre of St. Petersburg's Royal Theatre, Haymarket season is presented by Oliver King and Ekaterina Kashyntseva for Belka Productions with the support of Roman Abramovich, Sir Leonard Blavatnik, Yuri Shefler and Alexander Machkevitch.

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Additional Information


Opening night: 8 May 2018


Performed in Russian with English subtitles
16+ (contains nudity)

Run time

Running time is 3 hours and 20 minutes including a 20 minute interval

And before you stop reading

By Eluveitie (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons Used under Creative Commons License

What you thought

1 reviews, average rating: (5.0 Stars)

5.0 star rating

Julia Lowy: “Life and Fate”

Harrowing but brilliant albeit 30 mins too long. more

Read all reviews Write a review


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