Zone of Silence is a modern Belarusian epic in three independent chapters offering a panoramic view of everyday life under dictatorship and the taboos that are vehemently repressed. In Childhood Legends, the Company share stories from their earliest years, lives lived under the shadow of authoritarianism. Diverse is a vibrant collective portrait of extraordinary Belarusians on the margins of society, from the self-proclaimed Best Dancer in the Universe to an armless guitar-playing former mafia member. The trilogy ends with Numbers, a cascade of grim statistics about life in Belarus.

 

Reviews:

‘They have a stunning vocal and physical command, performing with ease and urgency material that combines both verbatim and physical theatre, as well as utilising projected video and still images of great beauty alongside pounding live music. Their young director, Vladimir Scherban, is an extraordinary talent.Mark Ravenhill, The Guardian

‘Belarus Free Theatre” creates live theater to connect their world to ours, or whichever audience they are performing for. I feel no separation from the people around me, nor those onstage. What they pull off without ego is reminding us of our single common denominator. While enveloped by their creativity, I feel more than anything: human.Matthew Paul Olmos, New York Theatre

‘Packs a punch.Benedict Nightingale, The Times

 

Credits:

A modern Belarusian epic in three chapters

 

Directed and adapted by Vladimir Shcherban

 

Contributors to texts:

Childhood Legends: Natalia Kaliada, Nicolai Khalezin, Vladimir Shcherban

Diverse and Numbers: Vladimir Shcherban

 

Dramaturgy by Konstantin Steshik

 

Written and performed by:

Pavel Haradnitski

Yana Rusakevich

Aleh Sidorchyk

Dzianis Tarasenka

Maryna Yurevich

 

Original cast included: Anna Solomianskaya

 

Original Assistant to Director: Irina “Yaro” Yaroshevich

Assistant Director: Svetlana Sugako

Stage Manager: Yuliya Shauchuk

Producers: Natalia Kaliada and Nicolai Khalezin

 

Performed in Russian and Belarusian with English surtitles

 

Running time: 2 hour 30 minutes including an interval

 

Zone of Silence was first performed on 7 April 2008, underground in Belarus

 

European opening night: XII edition of the Europe Theatre Prize, National Theatre of the Northern Greece, Thessaloniki, 12 April 2008