PUSSYCAT IN MEMORY OF DARKNESS
• playwright: Nada Nezhdana • director: Polly Creed •
• performed by Kristin Milward •
TWO UKRAINIAN PLAYS
2022 • Finborough Theatre, London, UK
TAKE THE RUBBISH OUT, SASHA
• playwright: Natal’ya Vorozhbit • director: Svetlana Dimcovic •
• performed by Alan Cox, Issy Knowles, Amanda Ryan •
• creative team for both shows: lighting design: Peter Harrison • set & costume design: Ola Kłos •
• video design for Take the Rubbish Out, Sasha : Arik Weissman •
• sound design for Take the Rubbish Out, Sasha : Duncan F Brown •
• stage manager for both shows: Rebecca Julia Jones •
Photos of the space
Pussycat in Memory of Darkness Donbas, 2014. A nameless woman stands in the street. Wearing a pair of dark black sunglasses, she tries to sell a basket of kittens. She has lost everything else she holds dear: her home, her family, her hope.
Russia has taken over Crimea and stirred up ongoing violence in her beloved homeland of Donbas. Betrayed by her neighbour and brutalised by Russian-backed militia, her hope has waned for humanity.
Take The Rubbish Out, Sasha The bereaved widow and daughter mourn for Sasha, a Colonel in the Ukrainian Army, who has dropped down dead suddenly of heart failure. As war intensifies, a year after his death, the army has resorted to recruiting soldiers who are dead. Sasha is anxious to join his country’s fight, and ready to be resurrected, but his family are reluctant to bury him again. A family argument ensues, should Sasha volunteer again...
Two Ukrainian Plays is aimed to take spectators into the world of magic surrealism. One set with moveable elements, different lighting ideas and projected visuals was used for both productions. Piles of objects and pieces of furniture move during the shows, being like a forest that is being cut but grows back again. And so do the reoccurring issues that bring up things the characters would rather forget.
The stories of death, war, struggle, family issues seem improbable but placed in a scenery full of everyday objects make an invitation to
a more tangible world. The magic hint on every piece of set introduces the universalism of the place and events occurring there. Thus, when entering and experiencing the world of Two Ukrainian Plays, the viewer is confronted with the question whether such reality could not find him at home. They should be lost in recognizing if this would only take place in Eastern Europe or if it could happen in their English home...
Some of initial sketches
Process visuals created in SketchUp software.
showing how the set could change within two different plays
and several different scenes