Pussy Riot: Final Verdict, Friday 17 August

13 August 2012

PRESS RELEASE

PUSSY RIOT: FINAL VERDICT
Royal Court Theatre
Friday 17 August at 11am

The Royal Court Theatre in London will join a global day of protest in solidarity with Moscow’s feminist punk band Pussy Riot on Friday 17 August at 11am before the final verdict is delivered at 12pm (3pm Moscow time).

The families and defence lawyers of the three women, who have been held in custody for five months after being arrested for an impromptu anti-Putin protest in Moscow’s main cathedral, have asked people around the world to unite on 17 August to support the cause.

In response to this, the testimonies of the three arrested members of the collective; Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich will be brought alive by actors in a rehearsed reading in the Royal Court’s café bar. Labour MP Kerry McCarthy will reflect on her experiences of being present in the courtroom during the trial and playwright E.V Crowe will give a short introduction.

Crowe, whose play Hero opens at the Royal Court on 23 November first proposed the idea of creating an event in dedicated to Pussy Riot after hearing of the arrest of three of their members. As well as Friday’s event, she will curate an event in November at the Royal Court to explore and debate the ideas behind the movement.

Sasha Dugdale, a writer and translator who has worked extensively with the Royal Court, has been following the live feeds from the trial and is translating their testimonies into English. She described the women’s words as ‘extraordinary, poetic, full of passion and innocence’.

Dominic Cooke, Artistic Director of the Royal Court said:

“The Pussy Riot trial is of concern to those who believe that the right of artists to question the actions of the state is central to an egalitarian society. As a London home for theatre artists to ask challenging questions, the Royal Court feels like the obvious place for the women’s words to be heard in English.”

Playwright E.V Crowe said:

“Watching their activism on youtube and hearing their courtroom statements, I felt inspired in a way no other cultural movement in my lifetime has captured my imagination or responded to my perception of women’s place in the cultural and political landscape. What Pussy Riot does is take a stand, through art, and then maximize its impact through social media. They are women who make me want to understand the world I’m living in, to write about it, and to be brave whatever the cost.”

Writer Sasha Dugdale said:

“The trial of these three brave young women has enormous consequences. Like no other case in recent history, it has demonstrated to a huge number of Russians and people around the world that it is possible to fight back, to stand up for justice and to be fearless in the face of cruelty and corruption.”

Pussy Riot: Final Verdict will take place in the Royal Court Theatre’s café bar at 11am on Friday 17 August. The event is free and non-ticketed.

ends

(14/08/12)

For further information, please contact Anna Evans on 020 7565 5063 annaevans@royalcourttheatre.com