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Theatre forecast

The great St Petersburg company shows what's possible when actors dedicate their entire lives to one theatre

By Michael Coveney   May 2005

The Maly Dramatic Theatre of St Petersburg is recognised today as one of the outstanding theatre companies in the world. Its appearance at the Brighton festival with a new production of Uncle Vanya, followed by a national tour, is certain to be one of the year’s cultural highlights.

When the company visited Glasgow in 1990 with its six-hour epic Brothers and Sisters, one Scottish critic said, “Forget slice of life: this is the whole loaf.” Here was an extraordinary picture of “the other Russia” in which only hardship followed the Bolshevik revolution of 1917 and up to half of Leningrad…

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