From Komisarjevsky in the 1920s, to Cheek by Jowl’s Russian ‘sister company’ almost a century later, Russian actor training has had a unique influence on modern British theatre. Russians in Britain, edited by Jonathan Pitches, is the first work of its type to identify a relationship between both countries’ theatrical traditions as continuous as it is complex.
Unravelling new strands of transmission and translation linking the great Russian émigré practitioners to the second and third generation artists who responded to their ideas, Russians in Britain takes in:
- Komisarjevsky and the British theatre establishment.
- Stanislavsky in the British conservatoire.
- Meyerhold in the academy.
- Michael Chekhov in the private studio.
- Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop and the Northern Stage Ensemble.
- Katie Mitchell, Declan Donnellan and Michael Boyd.
Charting a hitherto untold story with historical and contemporary implications, these nine essays present a compelling alternative history of theatrical practice in the UK.
Jonathan Pitches is Professor of Theatre and Performance and Director of Research in the School of Performance and Cultural Industries at Leeds University. He is the author of two books on Russian actor training, Vsevolod Meyerhold and Science and the Stanislavsky Tradition of Acting. He has taught masterclasses on Russian actor training at the RSC and in Tokyo, Malta and Shanghai and is the founding co-editor of the Routledge journal Theatre, Dance and Performance Training.