Tom Stoppard


RAMT, Moscow
Director Alexei Borodin
Tom Stoppard’s epic about the fate of the Russian intelligentsia, “The Coast of Utopia”, turned out to be not only extremely learned, but also very popular literary material. Its characters – Bakunin, Herzen, Belinsky, Chaadayev, Turgenev, Ogarev – are captured by the English playwright at a moment when history turns, and with it their private lives. They have ceased to be the characters from Russian textbooks: they have experienced their scenic impact. Spectators in London and New York already had time to learn, thanks to the living classics of English drama, the surnames of the representatives of Russian liberalism. Now these characters have found an embodiment on the Russian stage. “The Coast of Utopia” was directed for the RAMT by Alexei Borodin, known for his careful and thoughtful attitude to the text. In the three-part production, which takes up a whole day, almost the entire troupe is occupied. On the whole, the production seems like an intellectual television serial, where the heroes of Russian history are transferred on to the Russian stage without doing any damage to the traditions of Russian psychological theatre.

Marina Davydova

The Coast of Utopia involves 70 characters, who over a 35 year-period from 1833-1868 debate freedom, democracy, the paths Russia could take, European revolutions, families, love triangles, children and death from the plague. Stoppard constructs a real dramatic slalom along the crotchety curve of social thought as the action swings back and forth, whizzing between historical anecdote and melodrama in a wonderful freefall. The airy circuit of Chekhovian reflection and the ping-pong of ingenious dialogue allow Sir Tom to build on the move a composition from the seemingly heaviest-looking material: German classical philosophy, Russian liberal ideas and arguments on Eurasianism.

Oleg Zintsov,


The theatre has been preparing for this premiere for two years; however the performance was light, effortless and even graceful. You believe this troupe when they play people who long ago become an extinct species. There is even the irony of young actors playing Stoppard’s big-hearted philosophers and practitioners in a different way to Stoppard. He possesses British irony atop idealism in general and an intelligent European self-deprecating humour. The play, about the collapse of utopia, is written at the moment the latest utopia and historic whim known as the USSR, which long ago was accepted and offered 100 years of stability, collapses in a most unexpectedly way for Europe. However, the young actors differ from the 70-year-old Stoppard. Their actor’s irony is the defence mechanism of a young person, who also thinks about freedom and a just society, only never says anything to avoid looking foolish or silly.
They do not come across as either stupid or silly and it is this fact that makes The Coast of Utopia the main event in the theatrical calendar.

Elena Kovalskaya,

Afisha Magazine


350 m2


4 tons

One day before the performance

Photo © Marina Savicheva