London's King's Head Theatre to Premiere Sochi 2014, a Theatrical Response to Russia's Anti-Gay Legislation
13 Aug 2013
London's King's Head Theatre has commissioned Sochi 2014, a rapid-response protest piece to help raise consciousness of Russian President Vladimir Putin's new anti-gay legislation, which will be performed at the theatre for two performances only Sept. 1-2.
It follows the current debate over the Sochi 2014 Olympics and the Propaganda of Non-Traditional Sexual Relations bill, a measure which stigmatizes gay people and bans giving children any information about homosexuality. Since this was passed into law, gay activist Russians have been viciously attacked and prosecuted for "spreading homosexual propaganda," gay teens have been lured into traps and tortured on the Internet, homophobic murders are on the increase and gay parents are fleeing their homeland for fear of having their children taken away from them.
According to press materials, Sochi 2014 provides an opportunity to focus the eyes of the world on Russia's hardline attitude towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Playwright Tessa Berry-Hart is interviewing LGBT Russians in Russia and the U.K., and using their stories to increase deeper authentic public awareness in the U.K. Interspersed with media coverage, debate over solutions and extracts from the Olympic charter which show the flagrant violations of the Olympic spirit by Putin's regime, the play uses the real words of all involved to harness the power of theatre as a political vehicle to demand change.
The play will be directed by King's Head artistic director Adam Spreadbury-Maher, with 100 percent of profits from the performances to be be donated to SPECTRUM, Russia's leading human rights organization devoted to human rights advancement on behalf of people who experience discrimination or abuse on the basis of their actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.