Molodyi Teatr London
Molodyi Teatr London has made me feel happy, frustrated and simply alive. We started as a group of friends dying to do something creative together and ended up writing our own shows and taking them to the world's most famous theatre festival: the Edinburgh Fringe.
In 2010, we began with Ukrainian-language adaptations of works by famous Ukrainian writers (Nikolai Gogol/Mykola Hohol’, Taras Shevchenko, contemporary Ukrainian poets), before moving on to documentary pieces on subjects like the Ukrainian Famine of 1932-33 and the 2013-14 Maidan protests.
In 2014, we started work on our first full-length English-language show, Bloody East Europeans, a cabaret-style musical satire on British attitudes to Eastern Europeans. It was one of To Do List’s 40 unmissable shows of the 2015 Fringe, named one of Edinburgh 49’s shows to see, and was long-listed for Amnesty International’s Freedom of Expression Award. Our next show, Penetrating Europe, or Migrants Have Talent was called ‘fresh, thoughtful and a hell of a lot of fun’ by the Central and Eastern European London Review.
Our most recent show, All That Remains, is a reflection on loss and memory based on true stories from the ongoing war in Ukraine. ‘Uncanny and powerful.’ Central and Eastern European London Review. ‘Poignant, tragic and quietly powerful.’ Views from the Gods. ‘The most intimate conversation. Raw and painful. Very real but unimaginable.’ Ukrainian Events in London.
Photos: Penetrating Europe, or Migrants Have Talent (2017) and Bloody East Europeans (2015) by Guy Corbishley.
10 things everyone should know about Ukraine
The joy of having one foot in academia and the other on firmer ground is in being able to carry my passions between two worlds. A project I conceived and produced for the Ukrainian Institute London allowed me to do just that: help shape the fantastic academic research about people and subjects I care about into a form that can be digested both inside and outside of academia.
'10 Things Everyone Should Know About Ukraine' are short films that bring to life ten familiar and yet unknown stories including that of the serf who became an artist and a poet; a writer who rewrote European classics from a woman’s point of view, a theatre director who thought that revolutionary art could change the world, a count who chose to become a priest, an author who wrote more than 300 poems in his prison cell, and film directors who gave a voice to the silenced. They tell the stories of Ukraine as a battleground of murderous regimes fighting over the territory and its people, Ukraine as a melting pot of languages and cultures each influencing one another, Ukraine as a place where revolutions happen in order to bring about peace, Ukraine of many stories told in many voices.
Producer/Director: Nicola Roper | Producer: Olesya Khromeychuk | Researcher: Maria Montague | Archivist: Serhiy Zakharchenko.
'Ukraine at 30'
How do you know that you love your homeland properly? Why would a war draw you back to the place you tried to escape in peacetime? What does it mean to inhabit a language that comes with political baggage? Three women authors who were born just before their country’s rebirth reflect on belonging, identity, and displacement. Olesya Khromeychuk, Sasha Dovzhyk, and Iryna Shuvalova come from different parts of Ukraine — west, southeast, and center — but their texts are replete with shared experiences. All three left Ukraine to live elsewhere, but their essays are declarations of uneasy love for the country they left behind. Read these essays in the Los Angeles Review of Books.
Istoria: an online course in Ukrainian history
In 2022, Ukrainian Institute London ran Istoria, an eight-week online course on Ukrainian history. The course discussed contested historical issues from the legacy of Kyivan Rus to contemporary perceptions of the Donbas. It examined the Ukrainian Revolution of 1917-21, the Holodomor, and the Second World War, looking at questions of individual survival, collective resistance, and national culture.
Literatura: an online course in Ukrainian literature
In 2021, Ukrainian Institute London ran Literatura, an eight-week online course on Ukrainian literature and culture. The course discussed the Romantics and the avant-garde, the modernists and the dissidents, the post-modernists and the feminists as well as the rich literary scene of contemporary Ukraine. Each seminar was delivered by an expert in the field of Ukrainian literature.